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Naked sleepwalker 'defamed' by company press release

Donal Kinsella (67) sleepwalked to the bedroom of his secretary while on a business trip. His company issued a press release.

A COUNTY LOUTH BUSINESSMAN has claimed that managers at a mining company for which he worked tried to reduce his status in his company by issuing a press release confirming he had a habit of sleepwalking while naked.

Donal Kinsella (67) was on a company trip to Mozambique on behalf of Kenmare Resources, of which he was deputy chairman and a non-executive director, in 2007 along with a company secretary, Deirdre Corcoran, and other colleagues.

On one night during their stay at a mine apartment block he had knocked on Corcoran’s door three times, RTÉ reports, having her opening the door to find him sleepwalking naked outside. Kinsella also opened the doors of the rooms of two other male colleagues.

Kinsella claims to have no recollection of the incident and says he did not know about it until two weeks later when he was informed about a complaint that had been made against him, after which he apologised three times to Corcoran.

The Irish Times adds that Kinsella did not usually wear pyjamas and that the entire travelling party had had a meal and a few drinks before going to bed. Kinsella was also on strong medication.

An independent investigation taken within the company had exonerated Kinsella of any ill-intent, and in that light the businessman had decided not to resign his position on the board or as the chairman of the company’s audit committee.

The company later issued a press release, however, which he said portrayed him as a sexual predator taking advantage of a vulnerable woman.

The press release gave the incident more status than it deserved, Kinsella said, and had been issued as an attempt by the company’s chairman, Charles Carville, and his son Michael to oust him from the company.

As a result of the press release, his family had suspected he was a sexual predator, Kinsella said, and he had been the butt of many jokes at social gatherings – including at the Galway Races where people had sang, “Yes, we have no pyjamas” to him.

Kenmare, denying the claim that it libelled Kinsella by issuing the press release, contends that Kinsella brought the information into the public domain himself by speaking to a journalist about it. The case continues.