Bray man awarded €10,000 for slander after neighbour calls him a drug dealer
BRAY MAN Shane Rowan has said that he can ‘get on with his life,’ after winning a €10,000 slander case against a neighbour who called him a drug dealer.
‘This has exonerated me. I’m very happy with the outcome and can now get on with my life. It’s a massive weight off my shoulders,’ said Mr. Rohan after the case in Wicklow Circuit Court sitting in Bray last week.
Barry Paterson of Blacklion Cottages was found guilty of slander.
‘He destroyed my life, and he tried to destroy my character,’ said Mr. Rowan.
Paterson had fallen out with Rowan previously over parking, and had said that a car sales business he operat- ed at Blacklion did not have planning permission, before saying anything about drugs.
‘For someone to say such a horrific thing about me was the most devastating thing that could have happened,’ said Rowan, who runs a clothes shop on Quinnsborough Road. ‘The case was never about money or compensation. I just wanted to clear my name.’
Judge Gerard Griffin said that the allegations were ‘reckless and malicious, with the aim of getting Mr. Rowan’s landlord to evict him.’
The Court heard that Paterson phoned Rowan’s landlord in September 2005 and alleged that Mr. Rowan was dealing drugs. He said that gardai had raided the Blacklion premises. He also asked Paterson how a man of Mr. Rowan’s ‘demeanour,’ could afford BMWs.
Paterson told the court that he had merely told the landlord he had ‘heard rumours’ and asked if Rowan was ‘involved in drugs.’
Paterson also alleged that in one confrontation, Mr Rowan had jostled him and emerged from his office brandishing a samurai sword.
Mr Rowan denied this, insisting the sword was a wooden theatrical prop and that he had pointed to a spot on the ground with it and told Paterson not to come beyond it. The car business is no longer in operation in Greystones.