An Irish meat trading company caught up in the horsemeat controversy has issued legal proceedings for defamation against the Larry Goodman-owned ABP Group.

The trader, Martin McAdam, has said that ABP defamed his company by accusing it of supplying adulterated meat products to the Silvercrest meat processing firm, which was owned at that time by ABP.

Gardaí and inspectors from the Department of Agriculture examined the company's offices at Mr McAdam's Co Monaghan home in February.

The visit occurred at the height of the horsemeat controversy when Irish and UK food safety regulators were investigating the presence of horse and pig meat in products labelled as beef.

Also last February, the ABP Group issued a public statement in relation to McAdam Foods - then one of its suppliers.

McAdam Foods has now issued legal action against ABP in relation to that statement.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland report into the meat contamination issue, which was published in March of this year, found that McAdam Foods had unknowingly supplied adulterated meat to another company, Rangeland.

However, the report did not refer to any adulterated meat product being supplied to ABP's Silvercrest company, which was owned by ABP at the time.

In a statement to RTÉ News, ABP said it would contest what it called "spurious" legal action taken by McAdam Foods.

It denied the statement it issued at the height of the horsemeat controversy was either defamatory or damaging to McAdam Foods.