At Tom Collins & Company Solicitors LLP, we have extensive experience in representing clients in high value defamation actions, for both Plaintiffs and Defendants.
We recognise that the reputation of a person, or a business, is of the utmost importance and there is a right to a good name. The Defamation Act 2009 protects this right. The Defamation Act 2009 provides that a defamatory statement must be:
- Written or spoken and is read or heard by a third party;
- the statement made must be false;
- the statement must refer, relate or imply to a specific person.
Examples of Defamation scenarios
Due to advances in technology, defamatory statement are increasingly being made on a wide form of platforms, such as:
- Youtube or other video streaming sites
- Social Media Sites, for example Facebook, LinkedIn Twitter and Instagram
- Media outlets and news publications
- Blogs and vlogs
- Online Review sites, for example Tripadvisor, Google reviews and
- Other websites.
Many people will engage in conversations or debates on social media platforms or comments sections of media websites. In numerous cases, and especially controversial topics, the posts/opinions can lead to a defamatory statement about someone or an organisation.
- Truth -must be able to prove the statement is true
- Absolute Privilege – For example, a statement made in either House of the Oireachtas, European Parliament, judgment of a court or made by a judge or performing a judicial function.
- Qualified Privilege – Publisher has a legal, moral or social duty to communicate the information and the recipient has a similar duty to receive it. Statement must be made honestly and in good faith.
- Honest Opinion – Publisher must believe in the truth of the opinion at the time, it was based on proven (or honestly believed) allegations of fact know to those who received the publication or the opinion was based on proven (or reasonably likely) allegations of fact which were privileged and the opinion related to a matter of public interest.
Given the complexities of defamation cases, it is important that you obtain independent legal advice from an experienced solicitor. There are short time limits imposed on defamation actions and it is vital that you act fast when dealing with a situation involving defamation.