Northern Ireland news

Former Irish reality star told to give defence of false claims against Paddy Jackson's father `under oath'

The libel action centres on Twitter activity in April 2018 - a month after former Ireland and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson (r) and Stuart Olding (l) were cleared of rape. Picture by Alan Lewis-Photopress

A FORMER Irish reality TV star sued over false claims that Paddy Jackson's father offered to pay off the complainant at the rugby star's rape trial is facing demands to state her defence under oath.

Peter Jackson has already secured judgment against Danielle Meagher in a libel action centred on unfounded Twitter allegations.

The tweet appeared after Paddy Jackson (29) and former team-mate Stuart Olding (28) were both unanimously acquitted of raping the same woman.

In 2019 judgment was entered against Ms Meagher, also known as Danielle Collins, at the High Court in Belfast when no defence was filed on her behalf.

She subsequently issued a statement vowing to fight the outcome reached in the case.

Ms Meagher is now seeking to have the judgment set aside on the basis that proceedings were not properly served on her.

It is understood that she also denies posting the defamatory content.

But at a review hearing today lawyers for Peter Jackson pressed for her to be compelled to attend court in person, to testify and potentially face cross-examination.

The case was adjourned for four weeks, when further developments are expected.

Outside court Peter Jackson's solicitor, Kevin Winters, confirmed: "We are seeking to have the defendant give evidence before the court, under oath, on the case she is making with regards to service of the proceedings."

The libel action centres on Twitter activity in April 2018 - a month after former Ireland and Ulster rugby players Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were cleared of rape.

Both sportsmen denied any criminal wrongdoing throughout their high-profile trial in Belfast.

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