Tom Raftery brings up the subject of blog libel, and how it applies to Irish blogs.
TJ McIntyre told me that simply by publishing an article, you can lose your house. âIt doesnât matter if the article is defamatory or not – if someone decides to take a case against you, the cost of solicitors and barristers will run into the tens of thousands. Very few bloggers can afford that.â? And if you have no house or tangible assets? I asked. Then, the courts can make an arrangement to have the amount deducted from your salary until it is paid off, TJ informed me. They are very flexible like that. Heâs just trying to scare-up a few more clients, I thought!
Is your house not something protected by the constitution? I think you can claim to be a ‘man of straw’ and inability to pay. Anyway the point still stands about the nature of libel laws in Ireland.
Will a Press Council, as it is currently being envisaged, even know what bloggers are?