Maurice Quinlivan fails in Willie O'Dea legal action

SINN Fein candidate Maurice Quinlivan has failed to stop Minister for Defence Willie O'Dea from making allegedly defamatory comments against him in the run up to the local elections in June.

Maurice Quinlivan, 42, a candidate in the Limerick North ward, claimed Mr O'Dea had made comments linking him to a brothel which had operated from an apartment owned by his brother, Nessan Quinlivan.

Maurice Quinlivan has denied that he has any interest in the apartment. While it was accepted that it was owned by his brother, his family had no knowledge of any illegal activity.

Yesterday, Justice John Cooke refused to grant the injunction, pending Mr Quinlivan's main defamation action. The judge said the court did not want to interfere with freedom of speech in an election campaign.

Mr Quinlivan claimed he was defamed by Mr O'Dea in an interview with this newspaper, published on March 10, linking him to the apartment at Clancy Strand, where gardai found three Brazilian women operating a brothel.

He brought High Court proceedings for alleged defamation against Mr O'Dea and had also sought an injunction restraining the minister from repeating the comments.

Mr O'Dea denied defaming Mr Quinlivan, who as part of that action said the minister had claimed that he was a co-owner of the apartment.

In the article, Mr O'Dea allegedly referred to a court case involving the brothel.

The minister was quoted as saying: "I suppose I'm going a bit too far when I say this, but I'd like to ask Mr Quinlivan is the brothel still closed?"

Mr Quinlivan claimed he was slandered after he criticised the minister over revelations that six civil servants were working on constituency matters for Mr O'Dea at a total cost to taxpayers of between €165,000 to €225,000.


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