Shauna Dowdall, then a schoolgirl aged 15, has been awarded €5,000 damages for slander and assault following an incident when she was physically restrained and denied access to the the Luas despite having a valid ticket.
Shauna Dowdall was travelling from the Fatima stop to the city centre and stepped off the tram at the Museum stop to meet a friend before continuing her journey. She was prevented from boarding the tram, causing her stress and embarrassment.
Mr Justice Deery approved a settlement offer of €5,000 damages by Veolia Transport Ireland Limited, to be held in a court account until Shauna is 18 years old.
Mr. Terry Casey of Barna, Galway, a marketing lecturer at the School of Business in Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, has created a legal landmark in Ireland with the first ever civil libel case where the medium was email.
The libel case was taken over an email with attachments that we sent to staff in January 2005 that was sent by Larry Elwood and then resent by Deirdre Lusby, both department heads in the college.
Mr. Casey claimed an assault on his “reputation, integrity and good name”.
The two lecturers apologised to Mr. Casey in a public letter read out in the High Court that “withdraw the imputations and unreservedly and publicly apologise” . The settlement amount was not revealed in court but it is believed to be a six figure amount in addition to costs.
It is not known at this stage if GMIT will take disciplinary action against the two lecturers. This would be normal procedure in the private sector but perhaps not in higher education.