Defamation in Ireland


Traditionally in Ireland, defamation was the publication of a false statement which caused a person to be subject to ridicule or contempt, which in turn often lead to a claim for defamation damages by the injured party.

That definition has given way to a more modern one, and now a claim for defamation in Ireland, can arise through a statement which tends to lower the reputation, or which creates a negative image of the subject in the eyes of right-thinking people.

Defamation – Your Rights in Ireland

Defamation can arise in many ways, through the spoken word, including broadcast media such as TV and radio, through the press or a magazine article, and in our modern era of communication in Ireland, through electronic media such as blogs, internet articles and even twitter.

The right to ones good name is protected under the constitution in Ireland, and the new Defamation Act 2009, which came into force on the 1st January 2010. This introduced many important changes to defamation law and procedures.

Defamation comes in several forms, including, calumny, slander, vilification and libel.

Your Reputation in Ireland is easily damaged

The value of your reputation cannot be overstated, because a damaged reputation can cause all kinds of difficulties that can seriously affect your working life and your families quality of life.

For example, in business, your company or individual reputation inevitably precedes you, and if it inspires respect, a lot of your work is done for you before you arrive to a meeting, or utter a single word. A reputation often takes many years to build, but can be destroyed in moments by careless or inaccurate communication.

Defamation – How to Claim Damages in Ireland

Making a claim for defamation damages in Ireland can be a complex matter, requiring expert judgement and sensitivity. For example do you simply want your good name cleared, or do you feel you should also be compensated for the damage to your reputation? In certain cases going too far to protect your name can backfire, and in itself have a negative impact.

The first step is to make sure you receive the best possible advice about whether you have a valid claim for defamation compensation, and the best way to handle it.

We have expertise in all areas of defamation compensation law in Ireland, and offer a free advice line to call in confidence, and without obligation.

What can you expect?

You will speak with a solicitor who is very experienced in dealing with all types of defamation claims in Ireland. They will talk you through what has happened and will be able to advise you if you have a valid claim and what to do next.

Have I a viable case? – Preparing for your call to us

Please consider these vital requirements before you call us:

1) Any defamation action will be costly and should therefore only be considered if the person or body who has made the statement has the financial means to pay you damages and costs in the event the action is successful. If not, you could be left with a hefty legal bill despite winning your case.

2) To take an action you must know precisely what has been said or publicised about you. It is not sufficient for alleged unknown remarks to have been made. We will need the exact content from you in order to ascertain if a defamation has transpired.

3) The publication of any remarks about you should have been relatively wide. For example if a derogatory comment was made directly to you and possibly overheard by a couple of people this will not usually be sufficient grounds for defamation.

4) You cannot sue for defamation if the remarks made about you are largely true. For example if you were publicly accused of being involved in criminal activity but do in fact have previous criminal convictions then you could not win your case.

If you think you may have a case the easiest next step is to call our free advice line, without obligation.

If you cannot speak to us now, simply fill in the contact form to the left or right of this page to request a call from us at a time that is convenient for you.