Lucinda Creighton, a minister in Ireland's main opposition party Fine Gael is being sued by Irish developer Michael O’Flynn for defamation.
O’Flynn, a developer who is now dealing with the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), a body created by the Irish government in response to the Irish financial crisis in 2009, is bringing the High Court action after comments by Creighton in which she criticized her own party’s links to developers.
If legal action succeeds, the Dublin South East minister could be made bankrupt and would then have to resign.
O’Flynn lodged papers in the High Court in July and the case, which would take place before a jury, could be heard before next summer. O’Flynn launched the action against Mayo-born Creighton after comments she made in a speech at an annual political forum in County Donegal, where she railed against her own party’s links to developers and fund raising.
Creighton said: "We cannot, on the one hand, condemn Fianna Fail (the current part in power) for entertaining developers in the Galway tent, while on the other hand extend the biscuit tin for contributions from high-profile developers."
She also said that Fine Gael needed to avoid being "Fianna Fail-lite," a comment that strained her relationship with party leader Enda Kenny.
Although Creighton did not mention O’Flynn by name, she did make comments about a NAMA developer attending a Fine Gael fundraising event. O’Flynn sponsored a golf tournament raising funds for Fine Gael at the K Club, an exclusive five star resort in County Kildare, earlier this year.
O’Flynn is managing director and chairman of O’Flynn Construction, which is based in Cork. His company transferred debts of almost 1 billion euro to NAMA.