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In Ireland, the test for libel is the publication of something that is deemed to have held a person up to Ridicule, Hatred and Contempt in the eyes of right-thinking people.;Libel trials are traumatic for plaintiff and defendant alike, but they make magnificent courtroom dramas. In this book, A.J. Davidson - the author of the best-selling Kidnapped - recalls twelve dramatic Irish libel trials. Included among them are trials that pitted some of the best-known personalities in modern Ireland against each other, head-to-head in the High Court. They include the Proinsias de Rossa's action against Eamonn Dunphy and the Sunday Independent, which required three trials to reach a final verdict. Beverley Cooper-Flynn's unsuccessful action against RTE that left her with millions to pay in costs and awards; the failed action of Slab Murphy against the Sunday Times; and Albert Reynolds' famous 1996 case that went all the way to the House of Lords and incurred costs of over a million pounds. Actions arising out of the Northern Troubles include Belfast lawyer P.J. McGrory's 1988 victory again the Star, the Sunday Express and Today, and a successful action taken by an assistant to Senator George Mitchell over a false accusation of a liaison with a member of Sinn Fein. There are celebrities here; the jockey Kieran Fallon, Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson.;In every case, public reputations were on the line, not to mention dizzying sums of money. It's this combination that gives libel its theatrical quality and that makes A.J. Davidson's book such a riveting read.