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Denis O'Brien loses defamation action against Sunday Business Post

Denis O'Brien sued the Sunday Business Post over a 2015 article. Picture by Julien Behal/PA Wire

ONE of the wealthiest men in Ireland has lost a defamation action against a Sunday newspaper.

Denis O'Brien sued the Sunday Business Post over a 2015 article which discussed some of his bank borrowings.

Mr O'Brien claimed it had portrayed him as part of "gang" of developers who had destroyed the country and bankrupted its banks.

The newspaper disputed this and after just over seven hours of deliberation, a jury found the article was not defamatory.

Sunday Business Post chief executive Siobhan Lennon claimed the case highlighted how Ireland's defamation laws placed "significant constraints on all media outlets in their efforts to provide robust, objective and fair scrutiny".

Mr O'Brien, who is considered to be a billionaire, owns the telecoms firm Digicel, which operates primarily in Central America and the Caribbean.

He also owns leading Irish media businesses, including Independent News and Media and Communicorp Media.

He must now pay the costs of the case.

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