A pensioner who sued his former golf club for repeatedly lowering his handicap has lost a High Court claim for €10 million in damages.
Retired insurance official Thomas Talbot claimed his reputation suffered because a report card from the Hermitage Golf Club in Lucan in Co. Dublin implied he was a cheat.
Not only has Mr. Talbot failed in his claim for €10 million the 75-year-old is facing legal costs estimated in the region of €500,000.
He sued over a handicap report card he received from the Hermitage Golf Club in 2003 which stated ‘general play- handicap building’.
Mr. Justice Daniel Herbert agreed that the words used are defamatory because they imply he was cheating by misrepresenting his true golf playing ability.
The judge found this was a serious matter in amateur sport as a person found to be a cheat will probably be shunned, socially excluded and held in contempt.
But the defamation claim did not stick because its publication as a computer record was limited, justified and involved no ill-will.