28.4.04

Big bill after Irish politician loses long-standing libel battle

Beverly Cooper-Flynn has learnt her lesson for not cutting her losses after losing her libel case against Irish state broadcaster RTE and retired farmer, James Howard back in 2001. The Fianna Fail politician had taken action against them following allegations that while employed by National Irish Bank she had encouraged customers to avoid paying taxes.

The High Court found her evidence in support of her libel claim to be 'irrelevant' and dismissed the action. She was at that stage already facing a 2 million pound bill. Undeterred she sought to appeal which given that her initial evidence was deemed irrelevant seemed a bit optimistic (how could it be made to be relevant on appeal?). The Supreme Court was similarly unimpressed by the argument her lawyers presented and dismissed the appeal. Cooper-Flynn did not contest liability for the costs which will make a substantial addition to her existing 2 million bill.

She also faces expulsion from her party.

Full report from RTE here

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