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DEFAMATION

What is Defamation?

 

Simply put, Defamation is where someone writes or says something about another person which is untrue and damages that person’s reputation among right thinking individuals.

 

At Sheridan FitzGerald solicitors, we have represented individuals who have been defamed on lead hosting networks, in newspapers, and on social media pages.

 

We have also defended a number of individuals who have been falsely accused of defamation, normally in the political sphere.

Law on Defamation

 

The law of defamation in Ireland is governed by the Constitution, common law and the Defamation Act 2009.

 

Defamation has traditionally been divided into two forms: libel and slander. Historically, libel was the written form of defamation, while slander was the spoken form.

 

There is no longer a difference between slander and libel, there is simply defamation.

An actionable defamatory statement has three ingredients:

  • it must be published,

  • it must refer to the complainant or identify the complainant and

  • it must be false.

 

Defences

 

There are a number of defences set out under the Section 16, 17, 18, and 20  such as:

  • Truth

  • Absolute Privilege

  • Qualified Privilege

  • Honest Opinion

Defamation is a complex field of law and there are a number of other factors which can mitigate the damages or undermine any claim because of the actions or failure to take action of the Complainant. 

 

If you believe you have been defamed or you have been accused of defamation, please feel free to contact us.