FF TD tells High Court Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald was not defamed in tweet

FF TD tells High Court Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald was not defamed in tweet
File photo of Fianna Fáil TD Declan Breathnach

Fianna Fáil TD Declan Breathnach has denied he defamed Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald in a tweet he published in 2018.

Ms McDonald has launched High Court defamation proceedings against the Co. Louth TD over a post he published on Twitter on October 11, 2018, in reply to a tweet she had posted in support of the now-retired Garda Maurice McCabe.

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

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

She alleges 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 or a similar statement about her.

Mr Breathnach, represented by Darren Lehane Bl, denies the claim, and says that the Sinn Féin TD and leader's action is "misconceived".

A pretrial motion in the case was briefly mentioned before Ms Justice Mary Rose Gearty at the High Court today.

The matter was adjourned to a date later this month.

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