The courts in Ireland have recognised the right to privacy for many years. A defamation solicitor would expect a court to award damages in excess of €50,000 for breach of privacy. The right to one’s good name is protected under the Irish constitution, and a new Defamation Act (2009) brought many important changes to defamation law and claims procedures.
What is Defamation?
Defamation arises from a communication that could lower your reputation, or simply create a negative impression. This can be in the form of a conversation, through a TV or radio item, a newspaper or magazine article, or in a statement made in an Internet blog or article, or a Twitter post.
A Defamation Solicitor can Protect your Reputation
An expert defamation solicitor will evaluate the damage to your reputation and what needs to happen to rectify matters.
Reputation can be vitally important. Your reputation often precedes you, and can open many doors in business and personal life, for you and your family. However, if after working impeccably for many years to build an image that people respect, you find an individual or organisation has taken liberties with your good name, then you should immediately speak to a defamation solicitor.
Claiming damages for defamation is often complex, because for example, if you go too far to punish the guilty party, while you might be well within your rights, you need to consider the potential negative impression this could create in the public eye. If not handled correctly the damage to your reputation could be made worse.
Nevertheless, courts in Ireland will be on your side if you can prove defamation. For example, in Herrity vs Associated Newspapers (July 2008) the High Court awarded €90,000 in damages against the newspaper following the publication of private material about a woman’s marriage and her relationship with a Catholic priest. The award was €60,000 for general and aggravated damages, plus another €30,000 in punitive damages to mark the court’s disapproval of the “blatant use of unlawfully obtained transcripts of telephone conversations”.
Preparing for your call to our Defamation Solicitor
When you feel you have been wronged it is natural to be angry and to want to punish the offending party. Nevertheless you should consider the following points before calling our defamation solicitor:
– Defamation actions are almost always costly. If successful you will be awarded a settlement figure and your costs. However if the person or body who has made the statement about you does not have the financial means to pay up, then despite being successful it is you who will be left with a hefty legal bill.
– When assessing a case, a defamation solicitor will need to know the precise content of the defamatory statement. It is not sufficient for alleged unknown remarks to have been made.
– The defamatory remarks about you needs to have been relatively widely made. For example if a derogatory comment was made directly to you but you feel they may have been overheard by a few others this will not usually be sufficient grounds for a defamation action.
– A defamation solicitor cannot take a case for you if the remarks made were true or partially true. For example, if it was written in a newspaper article that you are currently involved in criminal activity and you do in fact have a previous criminal record then it is unlikely you could win your case.