What is defamation the law of defamation in ireland is governed by the constitution common law and the defamation act 2009 that act repeals the defamation act 1961 which was in force until the first day of 2010 the defamation act 2009 now governs all claims of defamation arising since the commencement of the new legislation. Defamation law in ireland a ccording to the courts service annual report there were 298 new defamation cases in the high court and circuit court in 2018 compared with 287 in 2017 defamation is one of the most serious dangers facing journalists and publishers today eighty per cent of all defamation actions are brought against the media and a libel action can bankrupt a small newspaper . For defamation is now a statutory tort that is a civil wrong it is defined in section 6 defamation act 2009 as 2 the tort of defamation consists of the publication by any means of a defamatory statement concerning a person to one or more than one person other than the first mentioned person and defamation shall be construed . In the state of ireland publication or utterance of blasphemous matter defamatory of any religion was a criminal offence until 17 january 2020it was a requirement of the 1937 constitution until removed after a 2018 referendumthe common law offence of blasphemous libel applicable only to christianity and last prosecuted in 1855 was believed to fulfil the constitutional requirement
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