O'Brien wins defamation case14/02/2013 - 20:14:00
Tycoon Denis O'Brien has won his defamation action against the Irish Daily Mail and has been awarded €150,000 in damages.
The newspaper has indicated that it will appeal the decision.
The Digicel chairman sued the title over an article by columnist Paul Drury that appeared in January 2010 under the headline 'Moriarty's about to report. No wonder Denis O'Brien is acting the saint in stricken Haiti'.
The piece appeared 10 days after Haiti was struck by an earthquake and 14 months before the publication of Mr Justice Moriarty's findings on the awarding of the second mobile phone license.
O'Brien claimed the Irish Daily Mail article falsely portrayed his involvement in the Haitian relief effort as a hypocritical act primarily motivated by self-interest.
Lawyers for the Mail and journalist Drury said the case was about the right to free expression.
Video: O'Brien speaking outside the High Court following the jury's decision:
(Dublin's 98FM via YouTube)
Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the Irish Daily Mail, said in a statement that it will consider an appeal
The statement expressed disappointment with the outcome, even though the jury decided that Drury expressed his views honestly.
The statement said this was "a very sad day for all those who seek to voice strong opinions in our democracy".
It insisted the Irish Daily Mail will continue to support the right of all its columnists to express a broad range of views, even if those may sometimes be uncomfortable.
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