Barrister sues minister and senator over tweets

A barrister has commenced defamation proceedings against Health Minister Simon Harris and Senator Catherine Noone over tweets they posted after the lawyer participated in an RTÉ radio programme.

The actions have been brought by Benedict Ó Floinn BL, who claims he was defamed in the tweets after he participated in a panel discussion about the forthcoming referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment on the RTÉ radio show, Saturday with Cormac Ó hEadhra.

During the course of the programme, broadcast on 31 March, Mr Ó Floinn addressed legal issues relevant to the referendum.

He claims that shortly afterwards, the politicians tweeted comments that were defamatory, disparaging and damaging to his professional reputation, and comments associated with the tweets formed the basis of media articles that have aggravated the alleged damage.

Efforts to resolve the matter with the minister and the senator were not successful and Mr Ó Floinn has issued proceedings against the minister and the senator seeking damages for alleged defamation.

He also seeks orders directing that the tweets at the centre of the dispute be taken down.

The actions were lodged with the High Court last week.

Aodhan O’Faolain, Ireland International News Agency Ltd.