Irish News ordered to pay restaurant £25,000

Thursday 08 February 2007 17.22
Irish News ordered to pay restaurant £25,000

The Irish News newspaper has been ordered to pay a restaurateur £25,000 after a High Court jury found a review about a west Belfast restaurant was defamatory.

In August 2000 the paper printed a review of Goodfellas, an Italian restuarant in the west of the city.

The reviewer criticised the quality of the food and drink, the staff and the smokey atmosphere, and gave the restaurant one mark out of a possible five.

The owner of Goodfellas, Ciarnan Convery, took a libel action against the Irish News with his lawyers claiming the review was defamatory and damaging, and said the paper had failed to apologise or print a retraction.

The paper's lawyers pleaded justification and fair comment.

The jury unanimously decided the review was defamatory and ordered the Irish News to pay Mr Convery damages plus his court costs.

The Irish News is to appeal the court ruling.