Ryanair's appeal of a High Court ruling that three pilots did not defame the airline is continuing at the Court of Appeal.

In December 2017, Ryanair lost a defamation case it had taken against the pilots - John Goss, Ted Murphy and Evert van Zwol - in relation to an email issued in 2013 which wrongly alleged that Ryanair managers had been involved in market manipulation among other things.

Today counsel for the three pilots, Paul O'Higgins, has been outlining his arguments for why the jury verdict in their favour should be allowed to stand.

The three were involved in the Ryanair Pilots Group, which Ryanair alleged was seeking to unionise pilots at the airline.

During the 27-day trial, Ryanair claimed the three men had maliciously circulated the email in question to 2,289 pilots in 2013 and that it was part of an ongoing effort by the RPG to unionise its pilots.

Ryanair had argued that the email falsely implied that Ryanair management had misled the market and facilitated insider dealing.

While the jury found the email had wrongly implied that Ryanair had engaged in market manipulation, it did not find any malice against the three defendants, which meant that the airline's defamation claim failed.

The court also ruled that the email did not imply other wrongdoing as alleged by Ryanair.

The pilots' lawyers had also argued that qualified privilege applied where a statement published to someone with an interest in receiving such information, as long as it is not motivated by malice.

Yesterday, Senior Counsel Martin Hayden outlined the airline's grounds of appeal.

During the course of the 2017 case, while faced with the threat of a series of pilot strikes, Ryanair reversed a 30-year policy and conceded union recognition.