There are many ways in which an individual or business can be defamed. Traditionally there was a distinction between the written form (libel) and the verbal form (slander) however this distinction has been removed and they both are now referred to as Defamation.

Defamation can be simply explained as being any statement, written or verbal, which is adversely reflective on the name or reputation of a person or company. For an action to be successful the statement must be communicated to a third party, must refer to the person or company and it must not be covered by one of the following defences:

– Justification: The truth is a complete defence to a Defamation action.

– Privilege: On certain occasions an individual may have privilege from an action in defamation i.e. Oireachtas privilege.

– Public interest: The statement has been made on a matter of public interest.

– Fair comment: In essence this defence arises when the comment was made in relation to a matter of public interest, what was said was comment and not a statement of fact, and the comment was fair and honest.

Now more than ever, defamation is a common occurrence particularly in the realm of social media and chatrooms.  Cosgrove Gaynard Solicitors have extensive experience in helping individuals and businesses who have been the victim of defamation in Ireland. Furthermore we also assist in pre-publication advice which can often minimise damage or prevent any publication of wrongful material.

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If you have encountered social media defamation that has harmed your standing,either personally or professionally, then contact us immediately. Social media defamation contains a broad spectrum of issues and contributing factors, and so it is essential that you seek some expert help from solicitors with experience in this area, to help you understand your case and your likelihood of successful litigation.

How to get a comment taken down from social media

if you are the victim of defamatory material posted online on social media or the internet, the following are the necessary steps to have the material removed immediately:

Defamation – Twitter

In addition to bringing a defamation action against the broadcasters of a show, being BBC and ITV (one of which we believe has already settled for a cash sum), following the inaccurate Newsnight report on November 2nd, Lawyers for Lord McAlpine in the UK have threatened legal action against Twitter users. They have identified up to 10,000 allegedly defamatory tweets about the former Tory party treasurer.

Defamation – Girl settles defamation action for €10,000

A circuit court action for defamation was settled with damages of €10,000 in a case taken by a schoolgirl after a Pearse Street shop posted her photograph in relation to an attempt by her friends to take cans of beer from an off licence without paying.

Defamation – Damages of €150,000 awarded to Denis O’Brien

A defamation action taken by Denis O’Brien against The Irish Daily Mail has resulted in damages of €150,000 being awarded against the paper after an article was published accusing him of being a hypocrite.

Defamation and the Internet

Recently the High Court granted a pre trial injunction directing that the website rate your be taken down pending trial in the case of Tansey v. Gill. At hearing Judge Peart granted mandatory injunctions effectively terminating the operation of the website .


If you feel you or your business has been the victim of defamation or believe that a report will be published in the future which will be defamatory please contact us for advice.

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