A Cork property developer who alleges he was defamed by Fine Gael’s Lucinda Creighton has told the High Court he was shocked by a speech she gave denouncing “cute hoor” politics.
Michael O’Flynn claims his reputation has been tarnished by the Junior Minister’s address to the Magill Summer School and in follow up interviews on RTE and in The Irish Times in July 2010.
The jury has heard Mr O’Flynn paid €1,500 for a team to take part in a Fine Gael golf fundraiser in July 2010 at the K Club, teeing off behind Enda Kenny and Phil Hogan.
Six days later in a speech to the Magill Summer School, denouncing the “cancer of cute hoor politics”, Lucinda Creighton said Fine Gael cannot condemn Fianna Fáil for entertaing developers in the Galway tent “while holding the biscuit tin to high-profile developers” beholden to Nama.
In a follow-up interview on RTE’s ‘News at One’, she agreed she was referring to Michael O’Flynn, of O’ Flynn Construction, and his attendance at the golf classic.
Giving evidence Mr O’Flynn said he “can roll with the punches better than most people” but he was “absolutely shocked” when he heard a podcast of the interview, adding that he treasures his reputation and has done nothing to lower standards in public life.
Lucinda Creighton denies defamation but she may also rely on the defence of honest opinion and fair comment.