RTÉ admits defamation of Waterford guesthouse owner

A High Court jury is to assess damages after RTÉ admitted defaming an 84-year-old guesthouse owner in Waterford during a 'Nob Nation' sketch.

The proprietor of Maryland House, Vincent O'Toole, is suing because the piece which was aired on the Gerry Ryan Show in August 2008 said ‘The Maryland is a byword in Waterford for prostitution'.

Closing the case today Mr O'Toole's senior counsel John Gordon asked the jury to put themselves in the 84-year-old's shoes.

He asked them to consider how they'd feel if in their declining years after a distinguished career the Sunday World described their home and guesthouse as a local term for a brothel.

After succesfully suing the paper for libel, Mr Gordon suggested to the jury they'd be apoplectic to discover in 2008 that the national broadcaster had decided to rerun the story.

RTÉ has admitted defaming Mr O'Toole in the Nob Nation sketch and says it is unequivocably sorry for what it did.

The only matter left for the jury is to assess should there be a payout and if so, how much. Lawyers for the broadcaster are urging the jury not to take at face value everything Mr O'Toole had said about the damages he's suffered.

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