Jury in Cof­fey’s ‘Crotty’ li­bel case fails to reach ver­dict

Irish Daily Mail - - Power’s People - By Paul Caf­frey

THE jury in Fine Gael Sen­a­tor Paudie Cof­fey’s li­bel case over be­ing likened to a high­way rob­ber has been sent home for the week­end af­ter fail­ing to reach a unan­i­mous ver­dict.

Af­ter four hours of de­lib­er­a­tions last night, the jury said they had failed to reach a ver­dict on the ques­tion of whether Mr Cof­fey was li­belled by a Jan­uary 2016 news­pa­per ar­ti­cle.

The news­pa­per piece likened him to a no­to­ri­ous 18th-cen­tury high­way­man who lived in a cave in Water­ford’s Comer­agh Moun­tains.

Mr Cof­fey is seek­ing ‘sig­nif­i­cant com­pen­sa­tion’ from the Kilkenny Peo­ple – but the jury must first de­cide if he was de­famed. The jury of eight men and four women be­gan de­lib­er­a­tions at 2.45pm yesterday, on the twelfth day of the trial.

They will re­turn to court on Tues­day morn­ing next to re­sume de­lib­er­a­tions, when they will at­tempt to reach a ma­jor­ity ver­dict.

The Kilkenny Peo­ple says its ar­ti­cle – which was based largely on a press re­lease is­sued by Fine Gael Junior Minister John Paul Phe­lan re­lat­ing to a re­view of county bound­aries – was ‘par­ody pure and sim­ple’.

But Mr Cof­fey’s lawyers say it ‘se­ri­ously dam­aged his rep­u­ta­tion’ and has caused him to suf­fer ever since. He claims the ar­ti­cle turned his name to ‘garbage’ and caused him to lose his seat at the last gen­eral elec­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.