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Hazel Lawlor, pictured at her husband's funeral in 2005: she is suing the Sunday Independent for libel and trauma for its coverage of her husband's death.
Hazel Lawlor, pictured at her husband's funeral in 2005: she is suing the Sunday Independent for libel and trauma for its coverage of her husband's death.
Image: Cathal McNaughton/PA Archive

Liam Lawlor's widow to sue Sunday Independent for libel

Hazel Lawlor claims that the report of her husband’s death in October 2005 caused her “massive trauma”.
Mar 13th 2011, 10:30 AM 5,420 8

THE WIFE OF former TD Liam Lawlor has launched a legal action against the Sunday Independent over its coverage of her husband’s death in a Moscow car accident in 2005.

The paper, under the headline of ‘Lawlor killed in red-light district with teenage girl’, alleged that Julia Kushnir – a female passenger in the car, who was working as Lawlor’s interpretor, was “likely to be a prostitute”.

The Sunday Times reports that Mrs Lawlor lodged a libel action with the High Court last Thursday, saying the story was a breach of her privacy and that it caused her “massive trauma”.

She also says the paper was negligent in publishing the story because it was aware that Kushnir was not a prostitute before it went to print with the story.

Kushnir herself brought a number of libel proceedings against Irish newspapers in 2007, but each was settled out of court.

Lawlor was one of a number of Dublin councillors who were called as witnesses before the Flood Tribunal investigating planning and payments.

At that tribunal, he admitted receiving sums of money from lobbyist Frank Dunlop, but stated these were political donations and not bribes.

He was imprisoned on three separate occasions for refusing to co-operate with the Tribunal – all of which came during his final term as a TD for Dublin West.

Read more in the print edition of today’s Sunday Times >

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Gavan Reilly

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