If you require legal advice or legal representation please get in contact with Frank Buttimer & Company today

The Defamation Act 2009 refers to a defamatory statement (whether written or published) as:

• A defamatory statement is written or spoken and is heard or read by a third party
• A false statement is made
• A defamatory statement explicitly implies, refers/relates to a specific person.

The time frame in which you have to make a claim is called the statute of limitations. As per the Defamation Act 2009, an individual must make their defamation claim within one year of the defamatory act. This period can be extended to two years upon application.

Frank Buttimer & Company help clients take legal action against individuals or corporations who make 'defamatory statements' about another person. Our highly experienced defamation solicitors will be there to provide legal advice, guidance and support throughout the entire process.

Defences to Defamation

The statement is true

The person who made the statement must prove the statement is true. Even an untrue statement can only be considered defamatory if it damaged the reputation of the person making the complaint. A statement is not defamatory if it is true or substantially true.

Absolute privilege

Statements made in an official capacity, or as part of a testimony, have the protection of absolute privilege and are protected against the claim of defamation. Examples of absolute privilege include:
• By a TD in the Dáil or a Senator in the Seanad
• By an MEP in the European Parliament
• By a judge in the performance of their duties
• By another person in a court as part of a court proceeding (for example, solicitors or parties to a legal claim)
• As part of an Oireachtas Committee
• In a tribunal of inquiry or commission of investigation

Qualified privilege

The privilege of a statement can be lost if the statement was made maliciously or if the person later refuses to correct an inaccuracy.

This includes statements made by you to:

• A person who had a duty or interest in receiving the statement or
• A person who you reasonably believed had a duty or interest in receiving the statement
• and

Where you had a duty or interest in making the statement to the person or persons.

Honest opinion

Provided the following conditions are met, the defence of 'honest opinion' may apply:

• The opinion is honestly held
• The opinion is based on allegations of facts that are set out with the statement or known to the person complaining of defamation (or that they could reasonably be expected to have known), or based on allegations of fact that are privileged (for example, based on the judgment of a court)
• The matter is of public interest

Fair and reasonable publication

A statement may not be defamatory if it was made in good faith and is in the public interest. The court will consider:

• The seriousness of the allegations
• How much the statement was about the performance of a person’s public duties
• If the statement made it clear that when it was discussing allegations or suspicions, rather than facts
• If there were exceptional circumstances that made it necessary to publish the statement
• If the person who was the subject of the statement was given the opportunity to give their side of events

Innocent Publication

A person who contributed to the distribution of the statement may apply for innocent publication where they are not responsible for the statement or the publication of the statement. Eg. A printer of newspapers is not responsible for the content of the newspaper publication itself.

The following cookies load by default:

Strictly necessary cookies
These cookies are essential for visitors to be able to browse the website and use its features. None of this information can be used to identify visitors as all data is anonymized.

Site session
Purpose: To remember different visitor preferences on the website.
Duration: For duration of browser session.

Preferred language
Purpose: To be able to provide the website in the visitor's preferred language (if the website contains multiple languages).
Duration: 1 year.

Purpose: To be able to show prices in the currency matching the visitor's preferences.
Duration: 30 days.

Google Recaptcha
Purpose: To be able to validate whether the visitor is human and to limit the amount of spam from contact forms.
Duration: 1 year.
Provider: Google.

Third-party cookies
These cookies collect information about how visitors use the website, like which pages they've visited and which links they've clicked on. None of this information can be used to identify visitors as all data is anonymized.

Purpose: Registers a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how the visitor uses the website.
Duration: 1 year.
Provider: Google.

Purpose: Registers a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how the visitor uses the website.
Duration: 24 hours.
Provider: Google.

Purpose: Used by Google Analytics to throttle request rate.
Duration: 1 year.
Provider: Google.

We also integrate with social platforms on this site that allow you to connect with your social network in various ways. Social media integration will set cookies through the website which may be used to enhance your profile on social media sites or contribute to the data they hold for various purposes outlined in their respective privacy policies.