Biggest ever libel damages in Irish state history awarded against Sunday World

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A man has been awarded the biggest libel damages in Irish history after The Sunday World alleged he was ‘a drugs king’.

Martin McDonagh was awarded 900,000 Euro by the Irish High Court after the jury decided that the newspaper had failed to prove he was a drug dealer and loan shark, as it alleged.

The newspaper had written the article when McDonagh was being held by the Irish police for questioning over his time, as he said “on the beer” with two people who were later convicted in connection with the biggest ever drugs seizure in the north west of Ireland.

Despite not being charged, McDonagh claimed he was labeled a drug dealer in his hometown of Sligo and was barred from most pubs.

The Irish police told the court he was known as a drug dealer before the Sunday World article but said they did not know how the newspaper got the very detailed information published while he was in custody.

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