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High Court Defamation Claim Against Iconic Newspapers Ltd Fails.

Consultant engineer Mr Michael Reilly (aged 62 years), of Ballycullen, Mullinahone, Thurles, Co Tipperary, has failed in his defamation action against Iconic Newspapers, latter publishers of the ‘Kilkenny People’ newspaper.

Mr Reilly now faces what is believed to be a six-figure legal bill, following the High Court order that he pay the full costs of his five day jury action.

In her decision, Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds, decided that there was no case for the sitting jury to decide, since the article published enjoyed absolute legal privilege as a fair and accurate report of the court proceedings. She therefore withdrew the case from the jury.

The action had been taken following the Kilkenny People newspaper’s report in its February 19th, 2016, edition, which referring to a man of the same name and same address, latter who was convicted of driving with no insurance. The judge remarked in her decision following the withdrawing of the case from the jury, that it was unfortunate Mr Reilly did not avail of a published clarification offered by the newspaper to have the matter resolved at the earliest opportunity.

Mr Reilly, the court heard, was himself experienced in litigation, as indeed was his partner Ms Monica Leech. Ms Leech, herself a former PR consultant, had been awarded €1.25 million in a defamation action taken in 2009, following a series of Evening Herald newspaper articles, had been holidaying with Mr Reilly in France, when Mr Reilly first became aware of the published newspaper article.

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