Leo Varadkar rejects ‘baseless’ defamation claims by Village magazine editor

Michael Smith has issued proceedings against the Tánaiste over comments in a newspaper.
Leo Varadkar rejects ‘baseless’ defamation claims by Village magazine editor

By Michelle Devane, PA

The Tánaiste has “unequivocally” rejected defamation claims made by the Village magazine editor and says he will defend them “fully”.

Defamation proceedings have been issued against Leo Varadkar over material published in the Sunday Times in August.

The legal proceeding was launched by Michael Smith in the High Court on Friday.

Belfast law firm KRW Law LLP confirmed it is acting for “Michael Smith in relation to defamatory statements made by Mr Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste and Minister for Trade and Employment, contained within the published print and online editions of the Sunday Times newspaper dated 21 August 2022”.

In a statement the firm said a High Court plenary summons was issued against Mr Varadkar.

“As proceedings have now issued it would be inappropriate to comment any further other than to say that the case is taken in order to protect our client’s good name and reputation.”

A statement on behalf of Mr Varadkar said: “The Tánaiste rejects these claims unequivocally.”

A spokesman said Mr Smith has been an “opponent” of the Tánaiste for years, adding: “This is just the latest instalment.

“The Tánaiste’s legal advice is that the claims are baseless. They will be fully defended.”

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