Sunday Business Post
The case is due to wind up before the Four Courts in the coming months Pic: RollingNews.ie
Dialogue Ireland reports of the earlier cases.
This gives you all the material on Scientology.
Man wants review of earlier award of damages against a Scientologist
A long-running legal battle involving current and former members of the Church of Scientology is due to wind its way back to the Four Courts.
Co Mayo man Pete Griffiths is appealing a €5,000 Circuit Court award from earlier this year against a Scientologist who launched a “vitriolic” personal attack on his character.
He had sought compensation of €50,000 against Zabrina Collins after she sent a semi-naked photo of him to the principal of a Dublin school, and an email falsely accusing him of criminal activity.
Collins, a spokesperson for the Church of Scientology, sent a complaint to the headmaster of St David’s School, Artane in May 2013, after she discovered a YouTube video of Griffiths, an ex-Scientologist, addressing students about the dangers of Scientology and cults in general.
In the email, she described herself as a “concerned parent”. Judge James O’Donoghue said the allegations against Griffiths were “grossly defamatory”.
However, the damages were reduced as Griffiths posted the material online, giving it a much wider audience.
Clearly unhappy with the decision, Griffiths has lodged a High Court appeal against the award in a bid to further vindicate his good name.
He perceives the award to be on the light side, but the main focus of his challenge will be on court orders made in a separate but parallel case.
As Judge O’Donoghue noted when delivering judgment last April, there is a longstanding animus between the two parties in this dispute.
Collins, a chiropractor with an address at Mount Eustace in Tyrellstown, Dublin, previously sued Griffiths and another man, John McGhee from Armstrong Grove in Clara, Co Offaly, for assault.
The allegations arose from an incident where Collins was harassed and grabbed by McGhee while distributing anti-drug literature in Dublin city centre.
Griffiths, of Cual Gara on Teeling Street in Ballina, Co Mayo, made a video of the protest and was ordered to pay Collins and another Scientologist damages of €2,000 in the ensuing court battle. McGhee was ordered to pay €3,500 for assault.
Griffiths claims he is now the subject of overly restrictive court orders, blocking him from approaching Scientologists.
He alleges that the injunctions impinge on his freedom of speech and his right to protest.
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