Ex employee sues Coolmore stud for alleged defamation

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A former Coolmore Stud employee has asked the High Court for orders preventing his former employer from threatening booksellers who sell a book he wrote about the stud with defamation proceedings.

The action has been brought by William Jones author of The Dark Horse Inside Coolmore and with an address at, Beechmount Roscrea Co Tipperary, worked at the stud between 2006 and 2015 and later self-published his book via his company Gold Rush Publications.

In proceedings against the stud he claims has been defamed in letters sent by the defendant's representatives to various booksellers, and seeks damages.

As part of his action Mr Jones, who represents himself, asked the High Court on Friday for temporary injunctions including one restraining the stud from threatening any booksellers selling his book, including booksellers in the UK, with any defamation proceedings.

He claims that under 2009 Defamation Act the stud is statue barred from bringing any such defamation proceedings. In a sworn statement he said that no litigation has been brought against his book and none is pending,

He also claims that in November 2017 lawyers for Coolmore wrote to booksellers in the UK and Germany threatening them with being sued for defamation under Irish law unless they withdrew his book from sale.

He says the booksellers withdrew his book.

At the High Court on Friday Ms Justice Caroline Costello granted Mr Jones permission to serve short notice of the proceedings on the defendant.

The Judge said she was not prepared to grant any orders in the absence of the defendant or its legal representatives, and adjourned the matter to next week.

Mr Jones's has brought other separate proceedings against the Stud in relation to his book.

Last year Mr Jones's appeal over being refused injunctions preventing Coolmore's lawyers writing to booksellers and distributors alleging his book about working there contained defamatory material was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

He denies defamation and sought various injunctions, pending a full hearing of his case against Coolmore, restraining its lawyers writing to book distributors and retailers alleging the book contained defamatory material and seeking it not be sold.

Coolmore's solicitors Arthur Cox had written to the Amazon website and bookshops referring to potential proceedings for defamation and noting the book included allegations of bullying and details of the deaths of two horses Mountjeu and Jude. The book was later withdrawn by a number of distributors.

Coolmore argued, under a December 2014 agreement compromising Mr Jones' Labour Relations Commission claim over his employment at the stud, both sides agreed not to make any derogatory comments about each other at any time in the future and he had also undertook not to disclose any records relating to animals or clients of the stud.

In June 2016, the High Court ruled Mr Jones had made out no arguable case entitling him to the injunctions.
He appealed but the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal.