Coolmore Stud ‘trying to suppress book sales’

The author of a book about Coolmore Stud has claimed that the bloodstock “superpower” is trying to “suppress” sale and distribution of his work.

A High Court action has been brought by William Jones, author of The Black Horse Inside Coolmore.

He claims that Arthur Cox, solicitors for Coolmore, had written to Amazon and various bookshops referring to potential proceedings for defamation and seeking the book be withdrawn from sale. It has been withdrawn by a number of distributors. He claims this is an attempt to frustrate and suppress the book, and Coolmore’s actions amount to abuse of his right to freedom of speech.

Coolmore Stud denies the claims. At the High Court yesterday, Mr Jones, of Dominic’s Court, Cashel, Co Tipperary, sought injunctions preventing the stud and its representatives from threatening bookshops and websites with legal action. He further seeks a declaration the book is not defamatory and may be sold.

Mr Jones, who denies any defamation, said that he has made repeated requests to Arthur Cox to precisely outline the alleged defamation. That had not been done, he said. The reason defamation proceedings have not been brought is because “I am telling the truth”, said Mr Jones, who worked at Coolmore from 2006 to January 2015.

Counsel for Coolmore, Paul Gallagher, said Mr Jones had failed to establish an arguable case, and the balance of convenience favoured the rejection of the application. Counsel said Mr Jones “knew well” what material Coolmore says is defamatory and derogatory.

Counsel added there were four authors who say their copyright was breached by Mr Jones. Counsel said Mr Jones had also breached an agreement he signed in 2014 with his former employer agreeing to compromise a claim he brought to the Labour Relations Committee.

Mr Jones said he signed the agreement under duress after making a bullying claim. He said some of the copyright claims were made by persons who have a commercial relationship with Coolmore. He said he had credited one author in acknowledgements. He tried to contact her to use material, but was unable to do so.

Judgment was reserved.


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