The businessman Denis O'Brien has begun libel proceedings against the Irish Mirror Newspaper.

Mr O'Brien claims he was libelled by an article written in the newspaper in June 1998.

The newspaper admits that the article suggested that Denis O'Brien had given a bribe of £30,000 to former Minister Ray Burke at the time that Mr Burke was awarding local radio licences.

It also admits the article suggested there were suspicions of corruption around Mr O'Brien's acquiring of the second mobile telephone licence and that Mr O'Brien was engaged in corrupt practices that warranted investigation by the Flood Tribunal.

The jury was told this afternoon that the Irish Mirror had admitted after eight years that there was not a shred of truth to any of the allegations in the article.

Mr Paul O'Higgins SC told the jury there had been no apology from the Mirror and it was now up to the jurors to decide the level of damages that should be awarded to Mr O'Brien.

He said they should not let Mr O'Brien's wealth deflect them upwards or downwards in their award.

But they should consider the distress caused to him and the damage caused to his reputation.

Mr O'Higgins said the newspaper, on the day in question, would probably have been read by up to 195,000 people.