The High Court will give its decision later this year in the defamation and breach of privacy case by the partner of Twink's ex-husband and her baby son.

Ruth Hickey is suing the Sunday World over the publication of photos of her and her partner David Agnew leaving the Births Deaths and Marriages office in Dublin with their son in 2006.

She also alleges she was defamed by the newspaper repeating an offensive word used about her by Twink (Adele King).

After hearing legal submissions from both sides, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns reserved his decision and said he hoped to give his judgment early in the new term.

Making closing submissions this afternoon, Senior Counsel Turlough O'Donnell for Ms Hickey said 'it simply could not be permissible' under the constitution to photograph a mother and her child and use the words which were used to accompany the photographs.

He said it was a gross intrusion of the privacy of these two people. 'There could not be any right in the Irish Constitution which could permit such an outrage to occur.'

He said it was an attack on the dignity of two people who did not deserve to be attacked in that way.

Mr O'Donnell said it was highly significant that the newspaper was saying that the use of the word 'whore' did not mean Ms Hickey was an actual prostitute, but it did not address the fact that it could mean that she was a person engaged in a sexual relationship in which there was no love.

That was the meaning any ordinary woman would take from the use of the word in the context in which it was used, he said.

Ms Hickey is claiming aggravated damages because of the newspaper persisting in publishing despite being requested not to do so.

And she is claiming punitive exemplary damages because of the nature of the wrong committed, the manner in which it was committed and to mark the court's disapproval of the defendants conduct.

Sunday World defends photos

Senior Counsel Eoin McCullough for the Sunday World said if the court were to accept the analysis of Ms Hickey's lawyers then a great deal of ordinary journalism would have to be excluded from newspapers.

For example he said photos of people walking down the street on a sunny day would fail the test, as would photos of people at a funeral or of where a person lives.

He said there could not be a reasonable expectation of privacy in respect of having gone to register a birth at the Births, Deaths and Marriages office.

There is nothing intrinsically private he said about emerging from the registry office with a carry cot and getting in to a car.

This is a public duty they were engaged in, he said

'The photo was taken in a public place. Ms Hickey did not establish surveillance. The photos did not disclose anything you wouldn't have seen if you were there.'

He said the existence of the baby and his age was already a matter of public record. And he said the features of the baby boy were not visible.

He said Ms Hickey had already given publicity to the impending birth by speaking to a journalist and knowing the information would be published in a form of news management.

It was then impossible for her to complain that newspapers had picked up on that and taken an interest in the matter.

It was not a breach of privacy at all, he argued.

Mr McCullough said the words used were vulgar abuse - the newspaper repeating them does not make them anything else.