Northern Ireland

James McClean launches legal action against UUP's Chris McGimpsey

Republic of Ireland footballer James McClean will today begin legal action against UUP councillor Chris McGimpsey. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Republic of Ireland footballer James McClean will today begin legal action against UUP councillor Chris McGimpsey. Picture by Brian Lawless/PA Wire

REPUBLIC of Ireland footballer James McClean will today begin legal action against a UUP councillor over an alleged "false and highly defamatory statement".

The proceedings against Belfast councillor Chris McGimpsey will be before Belfast High Court and concern alleged comments made about Stoke City winger on the BBC Radio Ulster Nolan Show in November.

His solicitor John Finucane said in a statement last night the 29-year-old is "a well-known professional footballer who plays at the highest levels of the game in England, and has represented his country with distinction".

"We are disappointed that, to date, no apology has been forthcoming from Mr McGimpsey, and ultimately Mr McClean has had to seek the recourse of the courts in order to protect and vindicate his reputation.

"He will do so on each and every occasion that unfounded, inflammatory and dangerous allegations are made against him, and he retains every confidence that these proceedings, which commence on March 13 in the High Court, will uphold his good name."

The UUP said that it does not wish to comment.

Ulster Unionist Chris McGimpsey
Ulster Unionist Chris McGimpsey