Defamation claim by Mary Lou McDonald against former FF TD over McCabe tweet is adjourned

Defamation claim by Mary Lou McDonald against former FF TD over McCabe tweet is adjourned
File image of Mary Lou McDonald

Pretrial motions in defamation proceedings brought by Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald against Fianna Fail TD Declan Breathnach have been adjourned to July.

Ms McDonald has sued the Co Louth TD over a post he published on twitter on October 11th 2018 in reply to a tweet she had posted in support of the now-retired Garda Maurice McCabe.

The claims are denied.

Ms McDonald claims Mr Breathnach's tweet meant that her sympathy for Mr McCabe was disingenuous, insincere and that she is allegedly a hypocrite.

Represented by Tom Hogan SC, Ms McDonald also claims that the tweet meant she had failed to speak out about and condoned the murders of members of An Garda Siochana by dissident republicans and criminals.

She alleges that the tweet defamed her, and as well as seeking damages including aggravated damages, she also seeks an injunction restraining the FF TD from further publishing the same of a similar statement about her.

Mr Breathnach, represented by Darren Lehane Bl denies the claims and in his defence says that the Sinn Fein TD and leader's action is misconceived, and that the words she complains of in the tweet are not defamatory.

In a pre-trial motion, Ms McDonald's lawyers have asked the High Court to strike out certain aspects of Mr Breathnach's defence, including the particulars of "truth" pleaded by the defendant.

In his pretrial motion, Mr Breathnach seeks further information and answers to certain questions about the claim from Ms McDonald.

The matter was briefly mentioned before the High Court on Thursday, which adjourned both motions to a date in early July.

Together the two motions are expected to take a day to hear.

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