Quigley v Creation Ltd

CourtSupreme Court
Judgment Date28 July 1971
Docket Number[1969. No. 3278 P.]
Date28 July 1971
Quigley v. Creation Ltd.
[1969. No. 3278 P.]

Supreme Court

Defamation - Libel - Actor - Irish professional actor - Women's weekly magazine - Ordinary meaning of words - Whether published words capable of being defamatory - Function of jury.

The defendants were the publishers of a women's weekly magazine and the plaintiff was a well-known Irish actor who worked in Ireland and elsewhere. The defendants published in their magazine an article containing an account of an interview that was stated to have been given by the plaintiff to the writer of the article. The title of the article was "They've left this Isle" and the plaintiff's name appeared immediately below the title. No such interview had taken place. The plaintiff sued the defendants in the High Court and claimed damages for libel. At the trial of the action before a judge and jury, the plaintiff contended that the ordinary meaning of certain words in the article was that he did not work in Ireland and that he chose to work and live in London because the rewards and opportunities there were better than in Ireland. The jury found that the relevant words did have that meaning, that they were untrue, and that they tended to lower the plaintiff in the eyes of right-thinking persons. The jury awarded the plaintiff damages. The defendants appealed and submitted that the relevant words and their meaning as found by the jury were incapable of being defamatory because they only amounted to a statement that the plaintiff had left Ireland to improve his financial position.

Held by the Supreme Court (Walsh, Budd and McLoughlin JJ.), in disallowing the appeal, 1, that the Court would be particularly cautious in deciding whether to set aside a jury's finding of libel.

2. That the trial judge had acted correctly in allowing the issue of libel to go to the jury, and that the jury's finding on that issue should not be disturbed.

Appeal from the High Court.

The facts have been summarised in the head-note and appear in the judgment of Walsh J., post. The action was tried before Butler J. and a jury in Dublin on the 17th April, 1970. The questions which were submitted to and answered by the jury were as follows:—

"1. Do the words

  • (a) 'They've left this Isle

Godfrey Quigley.'

  • (b) 'Godfrey John Quigley . . . is an Irishman. He is a very successful actor. He lives and acts in London. Why?'

  • (c) 'The result of my midnight oil burning is that I have had numerous plays and stories accepted by Radio Telefis Eireann. At present I am concentrating mainly on the American market—I am turning out thriller quickies for the U.S. commercial radio stations.'

  • (d) 'Why did you leave Ireland?' 'I left because the opportunities just were not there for me at the time . . . The Globe company also ran into financial difficulties. It was unfortunate really, that there was not enough aesthetically minded people to keep us going.'

  • (e) 'Quo vadis? My main ambition is to help young Irish actors to put Ireland on the theatrical map.'

  • in the statement of claim mean that the plaintiff does not act in Ireland but chooses to live and work in London because the financial rewards and opportunities are better there than at home? Answer: Yes.

    • 2. If...

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19 cases
  • Kinsella v Kenmare Resources Plc
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 28 February 2019
    ...point with regard to this ground must be respect for the role of the jury in a defamation action. Walsh J. in Quigley v. Creation Ltd. [1971] I.R. 269 explained the unique importance of the jury in a defamation case at p. 272: ‘In defamation, as in perhaps no other form of civil proceeding......
  • Travers v Sunday Newspapers Ltd
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 15 May 2012
    ...Civ 130 LOWRY v SMYTH UNREP KEARNS 10.2.2012 2012 IEHC 22 MILMO & ROGERS GATLEY ON LIBEL & SLANDER 11ED 2008 101 QUIGLEY v CREATION LTD 1971 IR 269 MAGEE v MGN LTD UNREP MCKECHNIE 14.11.2003 2004/29/6741 DEFAMATION LAW Interlocutory application Imputation - Range of meanings - Test to be a......
  • Ganley v Raidió Telifís Éireann
    • Ireland
    • Court of Appeal (Ireland)
    • 23 January 2019
    ...of potentially permissible meanings must be allowed to stand for the jury's consideration. Walsh J. in Quigley v. Creation Press Ltd. [1971] IR 269 made clear that a judge should not withhold a matter from the jury unless satisfied that it would be wholly unreasonable for the jury to attri......
  • Leech v Independent Newspaper (Ireland) Ltd
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 19 December 2014
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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