Cooney v Browne (No. 2)

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeHenchy J.
Judgment Date31 July 1985
Neutral Citation1985 WJSC-SC 1873
CourtSupreme Court
Docket Number[1984 No. 303P]
Date31 July 1985
COONEY v. BROWNE
PATRICK COONEY
v.
VINCENT BROWNE, STEPHEN'S GREEN PUBLICATIONS LIMITED ANDLEINSTER EXPRESS LIMITED

1985 WJSC-SC 1873

Finlay C.J.

Henchy J.

Griffin J.

Hederman J.

McCarthy J.

No. 303P/1984

THE SUPREME COURT

Synopsis:

DEFAMATION

Libel

Defence - Particulars - Statement of claim reproducing alleged libel - Libel including statements of fact, opinion and comments - Statements of fact alleged to be true - Plaintiff entitled to further particulars of (a) which words in the alleged libel are facts the truth which will be proved and (b) what facts are relied on as supporting the factual statements made - Order made by Hamilton J. - (10/12/84) affirmed subject to variation - (66/85 - Supreme Court - 31/7/85).

|Cooney v. Brown|

PRACTICE

Pleadings

Particulars - Defence - Libel - Statement of claim reproducing alleged libel - Libel including statements of fact, opinion and comment - Statement of facts alleged to be true - plaintiff entitled to further particulars of (a) which words in alleged libel were facts and which would be proved and (b) what facts were relied on as supporting the factual statements made - Order of Hamilton J. - (10/12/84) affirmed subject to variation - (66/85 - Supreme Court - 31/7/85).

|Cooney v. Browne|

Citations:

OSBORNE V IRISH TIMES UNREP SUPREME 27.01.54

RSC O.19 r6

RSC O.19 r6(3)

SPEDDING V FITZPATRICK 38 CH 413

1

Judgment of Henchy J. [NEW DISS] delivered the 31 July 1985

2

The plaintiff is a former Minister for Justice and is the present Minister for Defence. On the 1st January 1984 there was published in The Sunday Tribune a lengthy article entitled "Lost in the Mists of Introspection". The article referred to a number of matters which were instanced as scandals in the public life of this State and alleged a connection between the plaintiff as Minister for Justice and at least some of those matters.

3

The plaintiff has issued proceedings in the High Court claiming damages for libel. A defence has been delivered by the first-named and second-named defendants, who are respectively the editor of the newspaper and the company that owns and publishes the newspaper.Among the matters pleaded in the defence is what is called a rolled-up plea. It is in the following terms:

"In so far as the words complained of consist of statements of fact, they are true in substance and in fact, and in so far as they consist of expressions of opinion they are fair comment made in good faith and without malice on the said facts which are matters of publicinterest."

4

The plaintiff served a notice for particulars in which he asked the defendants to state a)...

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