UTV DVD “will not satisfy the request for particulars”…

Sam McBride has had some interesting reports to file on the Declan Gormley hearing. This from yesterday’s proceedings is more bizarre than the last one. What’s at play here is that Gormley’s lawyers are trying to get Sinn Fein’s lawyer’s to specify what evidence they have that Gormley ‘attacked’ their two MLAs… Well worth reading the whole thing..

As Mr Justice Gillen told Mr McCann to be more specific about the alleged attacks by Mr Gormley to which he was referring.

Mr McCann said that the transcript of the UTV programme was 50 or 60 pages long and it was impractical for him to go through all of it.

He told the judge: “Is your lordship seriously suggesting I should set out the entire transcript of the programme?”

The defence lawyer offered to supply Mr Gormley’s lawyers with a DVD recording of the UTV programme but Mr Justice Gillen said that “will not satisfy the request for particulars” as the request from Mr Gormley’s legal team made clear that the response had to be in writing.

Mr McCann said: “I misunderstood that. But I don’t think it’s really a hanging matter, my lord.”

So far as we understand it the court is still set for Monday…

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  • sherdy

    Mr McCann should not put ideas into the judge’s head!

  • babyface finlayson

    “Mr McCann said that the transcript of the UTV programme was 50 or 60 pages long and it was impractical for him to go through all of it”.
    Is it just me, or does this lawyer seem a bit on the lazy side?
    Yes we want you to read all 60 pages and present a detailed argument.Sorry if that is too much trouble.

  • Yes, a bit odd.
    Reminds me of a local restaurant, supposedly fine dining. The last time I went there, I ordered a Caesar salad. The waiter came back and reported that the “chef” said that he was too busy to make one and that I could have a garden salad if I wished.

  • Pigeon Toes
  • Pigeon Toes

    Is it not somewhat ironic to point to the fact that journalists were present given the defence argument of “qualified privilege” http://www.yourrights.org.uk/yourrights/right-of-free-expression/defamation/qualified-privilege.html
    And only the Newsletter present?

  • Canisp

    After reading the whole Newsletter report, I’m mildly surprised Mr McCann didn’t get a inside view of the workings of the justice system via a night in the cells for contempt.

    I’d be wanting anonymity if I called to the jury for this case, especially after the judge decreed it was a good idea to vet the jurors’ politics…

  • Pete Baker
  • Drumlins Rock

    will put this in simple speak again, in case i have missed something.

    Part of the SF defence is ‘he started it’ when Gormley attacked them in ‘the UTV programme’, Gormleys lawyer is asking them to show where in the programme the attack took place, they throw the script and DVD at him and say, find it yourself.

    Bit petty and childish. If they can’t point to the exact words that they feel attack them then how on earth can they use it as any sort of defence?

  • son of sam

    In 48 hrs time we may all find out.Speculation ,in the meantime seems fruitless.

  • Sean Og

    According to BBC former Minister Murphy is likely to be called as a witness. The trial begins tomorrow after the jury was sworn in today.

  • Sean Og

    Any reports from the Court?

  • Mick Fealty

    Not much to tell at this stage. It is expected to last until next Wednesday. As I understand, SF is calling Murphy, and Niall O Donnghaille.

    Gormley’s counsel had this to say with regard to his client’s dismissal from the Board of NI Water:

    It may have been for no other reason than he had the temerity to question the minutes of the meeting the independent review team had had with him.

    That IRT’s own work was held to been :too generalised and deficient” and was completed with ‘undue haste’ by the PAC: http://sluggerotoole.com/2011/01/18/ni-water-draft-pac-report-says-irt-conclusion-too-general-and-deficient/

  • Pigeon Toes

    “Mr McCann, you will not run this case on the basis that this man should have been dismissed”, pointing out that Sinn Fein has not pleaded that the words in the press releases were true.” http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/headlines/sinn-fein-libel-action-a-last-resort-1-4545760

  • Pigeon Toes

    “Mr Murphy agreed but said that civil servants could tell their questions were “the product of some internal information”, as most MLAs’ questions to ministers were “very general”.

    When it was put to him that the detailed questions put by Mr Dallat and Mr McGlone were not “unique” as other MLAs asked detailed questions about issues, Mr Murphy said that he believed there should be “an obligation on politicians” to disclose if they were asking questions on behalf of someone”

  • Mick Fealty

    I would caution people to be very careful in this or any other live case in the High Court.

    One fact worth sharing is that the plaintiff in this trial was on the stand for almost five days. That’s as long as the original trial was thought to last.

    I think that’s got to be unique or close to unique in the history of western jurisprudence.


    That’s a very good find PT. Will blog that precise point later on, when I get time.

  • Pigeon Toes

    !TWO Sinn Fein politicians yesterday told the High Court that they had not seen several of 10 documents which their lawyers claim were attacks to which they were responding with press releases that are now alleged to be libellous.”


  • Mick Fealty

    That’s really interesting. Especially given the blanket political defence being employed by Sinn Fein.