Republic of Ireland Law
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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.
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.
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.
6. Glad to be of assistance. Have a good day.
7. You are better off stay away from your neighbour.
8. If his wife overheard, then that is publication of the libel, which constitutes grounds to sue. So, it would make a difference.
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.
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.
12. He will be advised not to go down the route of defamation proceedings as well. It is just too costly.
13. Best of luck!
14. Best wishes.