How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 13381
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
Type Your Republic of Ireland Law Question Here...
Buachaill is online now

Libel, Civil law, No, Ok

This answer was rated:

JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me where this is?
Customer: Civil law
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No
JA: Is there anything else the Expert should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Ok
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hi I got into an argument with a neighbour and he was screaming at me an calling me dishonest and disrespectful and I replied I heard you were dishonest in the football club. He said I would be libel for that is this the case. My wife can testify I didnt accuse him of robbing but is he libel for comments about me also
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
would something like this go to court
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
His wife was there but it started out with a tirade of abuse from my neighbour first without me responding and over parking

Hello, and thank you for your question. I am your Expert and I will provide the answer you require.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
No text please
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Are you still there could I get an answer

1.  The first thing you need to know about the laws of libel in Ireland is that it requires publication of the defamatory comments to a third party for there to be libel.  So, here, arguing with your neighbour won´t attract a significant amount of damages even if libel was proved, because the material was not published widely.  The only witnesses were you and potentially, your wife.  So, a court won´t award much damages for a matter like this. The second point you should be aware of, is that it is extremely expensive to bring defamation proceedings in Ireland.  So, you could bankrupt yourself bringing defamation proceedings against your neighbour, without ever winning much damages.  So, keep this fact in mind.

2.  However, it is defamatory to utter false comments about your neighbour and to publish them to more than the two of you.  So, you should not make allegations to your neighbour that you cannot stand over in a court of law.  The defence of truth is always a good defence to any allegation of libel or slander.  So, you should stick to the truth when arguing with your neighbour.  Keep your comments factual and avoid insinuations you cannot stand over.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Okay thats fine I'm only a working class and was very worried this could be costly in court and really have very little means also.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Would his comments be defamatory also

3.  If that is the case, I would advise you not to go hear the courts for libel.  Additionally, just avoid your neighbour if he is about to embark on a tirade as there is no mileage in defamation actions for either of you, if this is the situation.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thanks for your help

4.  His comments would also be defamatory if they are false.  It is an essential requirement of defamation that what was stated is false.

5.  You are welcome to the advice.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Okay this has been helpful thank you so much

6.  Glad to be of assistance.  Have a good day.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
You to thanks

7.  You are better off stay away from your neighbour.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
If his wife overheard would that not make a difference either actually

8. If his wife overheard, then that is publication of the libel, which constitutes grounds to sue.  So, it would make a difference.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
my wife overheard him so it would be the same then, so if I have not got the means it would be pointless in him suing wouldn't it
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
if I haven't got the money to defend would that mean I could get free legal aid possibly and would it be my word against his

9. There is no such thing as Legal Aid for defamation actions in Ireland.  This is why I have stated that a defamation action could bankrupt you as you need to finance it yourself.

10. Neighbours rowing isn´t a good recipe for defamation actions.  Both of you would come out of it badly, particularly if you are relying upon your wives to corroborate what was alleged said as being defamatory.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Sorry so what does that mean if I haven't got the money to defend it just go to court and represent myself?
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I understand what your saying. Do you think it would cost more than he could win even

11.  Yes, it could cost much more than he could win.  That is the whole point.  You should not go to court over this type of thing at all.  Additionally, you would be lost representing yourself because libel actions are very technical.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Perfect so you think he could be advised not to go this route either as even if you win you could possibly lose then. You have been excellent thanks

12.  He will be advised not to go down the route of defamation proceedings as well.  It is just too costly.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thanks so much brilliant solicitor

13.  Best of luck!

Customer: replied 10 days ago.

14.  Best wishes.

Buachaill and other Republic of Ireland Law Specialists are ready to help you