Lecturer Vindicated in Historic Email Libel Case

Daily Mail (London), May 15, 2010 | Go to article overview

Lecturer Vindicated in Historic Email Libel Case


Byline: Paul Caffrey

A COLLEGE lecturer yesterday secured a historic victory when he settled a landmark libel case over emails sent by his superiors that he claimed were a slur on his professional reputation.

Terry Casey, a business lecturer, walked away from the High Court at least E100,000 better off yesterday after suing two senior academics at the institute where he works.

Mr Casey settled his defamation action yesterday, understood to run to six figures, declaring himself 'delighted' and 'overjoyed' with the outcome.

In yesterday's action, Mr Casey had sued the head of the school of business at the Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology, Larry Elwood, and the head of the business studies department at the college, Deirdre Lusby.

Lawyers for the pair - who were accused of sending out the offending emails - apologised to Mr Casey in court and agreed to pay him a substantial sum in damages and legal costs.

Their apology, read to the High Court yesterday, said that in an attachment to emails circulated by them in January 2005, they published remarks which were 'defamatory in the way of his office, calling and profession'.

It added that the allegations were 'entirely without founda-tion', and have caused Mr Casey 'considerable distress, anxiety and upset'.

Mr Casey, from Barna, Galway, a lecturer in the GMIT school of business, told reporters outside the Four Courts he was relieved that his ordeal was finally over.

He described the settlement as a 'complete vindication of my position and reputation'.

The academic added: 'It caused me great personal distress to take these proceedings in the first place, but such was the concerted assault on my reputation, integrity and good name that I had absolutely no alternative.'

Mr Casey's action is the first known civil libel case, to have been brought in Ireland, over material circulated in electronic form.

When the internet was launched, it was known as a playground for those who wished to comment on others without the consequences that would follow publishing the same remarks elsewhere. But it was inevitable that as the internet grew as a phenomenon, and became more widely available, comments made in cyberspace would become the subject of legal actions. …

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