Fans sue over John Delaney Euro 2012 'strip' article
A group of Irish soccer fans have claimed they were wrongly depicted online as “drunken hooligans” who participated in the FAI chief John Delaney’s Sopot shoes and socks incident during Euro 2012.
Eight of them have issued defamation proceedings against News Group Newspapers Ltd after a picture of them appeared on the Irish Sun website, allegedly associating them with an unrelated article of fans in Poland carrying Delaney head-high back towards his hotel.
Barrister Julia Leo told the Circuit Civil Court that Darragh Agnew, of Dalkey Rock, Arburgh Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin, and seven of his friends appeared on the Irish Sun website picture along with an article under the headline, ‘FAI boss Delaney stripped by fans’.
In defamation proceedings issued in June 2013, exactly a year after the Sopot incident, Agnew and his friends claimed they had no act nor part in the incident which, they alleged, involved another group of fans who had stripped Delaney of his socks and shoes and had drunk alcohol from one of his shoes.
Ms Leo told Judge Jacqueline Linnane that service of the proceedings was now out of time and Agnew and his friends applied to have their Civil Bills renewed, which the court granted.
The applications were taken in the Motions Court which meant none of the plaintiffs or the proposed defendant had to be present and Judge Linnane made her orders before Ms Leo and the solicitor for the plaintiffs.