A Circuit Court judge has rejected an application by Independent TD Michael Lowry for a summary judgment for defamation against journalist Sam Smyth.

Circuit Court Judge Margaret Heneghan accepted Mr Smyth's contention that he has an arguable defence to the allegation by Mr Lowry and that the case could proceed to a full hearing.

Mr Lowry had sought a summary ruling in the Circuit Court under the 2009 Defamation Act.

However, Judge Heneghan said Mr Lowry had not established that Mr Smyth had no defence.

The case centres on comments made by Mr Smyth concerning the McCracken and Moriarty tribunals and their inquiries into matters relating to Mr Lowry's finances.

Mr Lowry alleges that Mr Smyth made false and defamatory remarks about him in an article in the Irish Independent last May and a month later on the Tonight with Vincent Browne programme on TV3.

Mr Lowry claims that the Irish Independent article inferred that he was a corrupt politician and that it was a false and malicious article.

He claims that on the TV3 programme, Mr Smyth made a comment that implied he was a thief.

Mr Smyth is standing over his comments, arguing that they were true and based on his honest opinion.