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Declan Ganley and firm claim defamation by CNN, High Court hears


Businessman Declan Ganley and a telecommunications company of which he is chairman and chief executive have claimed before the High Court that they were “maliciously” defamed by broadcaster CNN.

On Monday, Mr Justice Tony O’Connor granted an ex-parte application by Mr Ganley’s lawyers permitting legal papers to be served outside the jurisdiction on CNN.

Mr Ganley and Rivada Networks claim they were defamed in a broadcast and article published by Cable Network News (CNN)on October 20th, 2020 .

It is claimed the publication arose after the company had been seeking to enter into a contract with the US government to build a 5G telecommunications network by leasing the US department of defence’s mid-band spectrum.

The company made a proposal after the US department of defence made a competitive and open request for information relating to the project.

It is alleged the publication wrongly meant Mr Ganley and Rivada had initiated a corrupt process to obtain the contract.

Mr Ganley and the company say they are “completely innocent” of such a claim, the contents of the publication are “entirely unfounded”, “grossly defamatory” of them, and have caused them reputational damage and loss.

Malicious intent

They also claim the publication was published with malicious intent, in pursuit of a political and commercial agenda of CNN’s owners AT&T.

CNN, it is claimed, has declined to apologise or offer amends, or remove the publication from its website.

As a result of the publication, the businessman and Rivada Networks Limited, which has its European head office at Tuam, Co Galway, and is incorporated in Virginia in the United States, have brought an action seeking damages and a correction order.

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The businessman and the company, represented by Mark Harty SC and Alannah McGurk, and instructed by Paul Tweed, have brought their intended proceedings against Cable News Network Inc, with registered offices at Atlanta in the US state of Georgia.

Proceedings are also being brought against two other CNN-related entities, Cable News International Ltd and Turner Broadcasting System Europe Ltd, which have addresses on Old Street, London.

Republications

The action has been brought before the Irish courts, as it is claimed publication occurred in Ireland and the channel and its website can be accessed by vast numbers of people throughout Ireland.

It is also alleged the CNN broadcast led to several other republications in Ireland and elsewhere, further exacerbating the damage the plaintiffs say they have suffered.

As part of their proceedings, the applicants sought permission to serve notice outside the jurisdiction on the proposed defendants.

Mr Justice O’Connor granted permission to serve the proceedings against the intended defendants in the UK and the US.



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