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Dublin: 15 °C Wednesday 19 June, 2019
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Sunday World decsion deffered till October

Justice Nicholas Kearns said he won’t decide on the case till after the summer recess.

Ruth Hickey, the partner of Twink's ex-husband David Agnew

JUDGE NICHOLAS KEANRS has chosen to reserve his decision on Ruth Hickey’s defamation case against the Sunday World until after the summer recess.

After hearing submissions from both sides in the case the judge said he would give his judgement early in the new term (October).

Earlier this week counsel for Ruth Hickey put her case forward. They told the court that Hickey had been defamed by the Sunday World in two articles and that pictures of Hickey with her new born son violated her and her sons right to privacy.

Closing the case for Hickey, Senior Counsel Turlough O’Donnell  said ‘it simply could not be permissible’ under the constitution to photograph a mother and her child and use the words which were used to accompany the photographs.

Mr O’Donnell said it was highly significant that the newspaper was saying that the use of the word ‘whore’ did not mean Hickey was an actual prostitute. But O’Donnell did say the paper did not address the fact that it could mean that she was a person engaged in a sexual relationship in which there was no love.

Senior Counsel Eoin McCullough for the Sunday World said if the court were to accept the analysis of Hickey’s lawyers then a great deal of ordinary journalism would have to be excluded from newspapers.

For example he said photos of people walking down the street on a sunny day would fail the test, as would photos of people at a funeral or of where a person lives.

He said there could not be a reasonable expectation of privacy in respect of having gone to register a birth at the Births, Deaths and Marriages office.

Mr McCullough said the words used were vulgar abuse – the newspaper repeating them does not make them anything else.

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Daire Hickey

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