Quantity surveyor says Ryanair wrongly banned him for being ‘disruptive’ on a date when he did not fly

30 January 2024

A quantity surveyor has claimed before the High Court that he has been defamed by and wrongly banned from flying with Ryanair.

The action has been brought by Eoin Michael Cahill who says the airline has wrongly accused him of engaging in disruptive behaviour on a date which he neither travelled on a Ryanair flight nor was he present at Dublin Airport.

Mr Cahill, of Carrigban, Killarney Road, Macroom, Co Cork, says he is currently employed with the Jones Engineering Group on a project in Copenhagen, Denmark.

He claims that flights he takes as part of his work between Denmark and Ireland are purchased by his employer. He claims that it had been arranged that he would fly with Ryanair from Dublin to Copenhagen on January 2 last, but after extending his leave, he did not travel on that date.

The following day (January 3) he claims he was defamed in an email sent to his employer by Ryanair’s customer services.

He says contains a false and untenable allegation that he was “disruptive” on his journey through Dublin Airport and was prohibited from flying with Ryanair again.

He claims that if the communication to his employer is not corrected the allegation will have disastrous implications on his professional reputation, especially as he needs to travel to Denmark as part of his work.

He is further concerned that the allegedly defamatory communication sent to his employer may have been sent to other parties.

Through his solicitor, CW Ashe and Company, Mr Cahill has asked for details of the alleged disruptive behaviour the airline has referred to. Such details have not been furnished to him, it is claimed.

He has also asked the airline to correct the record with his employer and to lift the travel ban it has placed on him, which he claims it has not done.

The airline had initially informed Mr Cahill, who is a recent graduate from Munster Technical University, that it was standing over its decision to ban him from travelling with Ryanair.

However, the court heard that in subsequent correspondence Ryanair’s lawyers asked for a reasonable period to be able to conduct an extensive investigation into the allegations on behalf of the airline.

Mr Cahill’s lawyers said that the airline has had ample time to address his complaints, and has launched High Court proceedings against both Ryanair DAC and Ryanair Holdings PLC In his action Mr Cahill seeks damages, including aggravated damages for the alleged defamation.

He wants the court to make various orders prohibiting the defendants from further publishing the allegedly defamatory material, and a correction order directing the airline to publish a correction of the allegedly defamatory statements.

He further seeks various injunctions restraining the defendants from publishing any further allegedly defamatory statements which are the subject matter of the proceedings.

He also wants an order restraining Ryanair from prohibiting his ability to travel with the airline pending the trial of the action.

The matter came before Mr Justice Mark Sanfey today, who on an ex-parte (one side only represented) basis granted Mr Cahill’s lawyers permission to serve short notice of the injunction proceedings on the defendants.

The judge said he was prepared to make the matter returnable, but did raise some concerns about the court’s ability to grant the injunctions sought.

The judge asked if a court can compel two parties at this stage of the proceedings to enter into a contractual relationship such as the one sought.

The matter will return before the court in early February.

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