CLONES MEAT TRADER TO APPEAL HIGH COURT COSTS RULING IN ABP DEFAMATION CASE

28 November 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

THE OWNER of a former Newbliss-based meat plant who is suing Larry Goodman’s ABP Food Group for defamation has confirmed to the Northern Standard that he intends to appeal a High Court decision requiring him to provide security for costs of €640,000 before the action can proceed any further.

Martin McAdam claims his company, McAdam Food Products Ltd was severely damaged following the issuing of a press release by ABP, which stated that it had bought product from the Newbliss company that was found to contain horse DNA.

This had happened during the horsemeat scandal of January 2013, which emerged when the Silvercrest plant in Ballybay, then owned by ABP, was found to have manufactured a burger that contained 29% horse DNA.

Mr Jim O’Callaghan SC, for Mr McAdam had told the High Court hearing that ABP had “hung the company out to dry” when it issued the press release. McAdam Food Products Ltd “fell off a cliff” financially as a result of the claim, counsel had stated, citing total receipts of €835,103 in the four months prior to February 5th, 2013 as against receipts of only €32,238 in the following four months.

In the ruling given on November 14th by Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, the High Court found that McAdam Food Products Ltd failed to show any “special circumstances” that would obviate its requirement to provide security for costs of the action.

ABP has sought security of costs of €640,000 from Mr McAdam in order to ensure he can pay its legal costs were he to lose the action.

MATTER OF PRINCIPLE

Speaking to the Northern Standard yesterday, Mr McAdam said he intended to appeal the High Court ruling in what was “a matter of principle at this stage”. His own legal team believed he had a “very strong case” and he believed the costs issue was a mechanism being used by ABP to stop the hearing.

Stating that ABP had a turnover of €2.5 billion and that the €640,00 would therefore be “peanuts” to it, he challenged the larger company to “do the honourable thing” and have its claim that he supplied it with horsemeat tested in front of a jury.

ABP had never supplied any evidence to back the claim that there was horsemeat in products supplied by McAdam Foods Ltd, he added. He also pointed to a Department of Agriculture investigation that had earlier cleared him of deliberately trading in meat he knew to contain horse DNA, and had also found there was no evidence that his company gave horsemeat to Silverstream.

  • Meanwhile, Mr McAdam also confirmed that he is in the process of starting up a new company based at Clones Enterprise Centre that will buy meat directly from farmers and marts in Cavan and Monaghan, slaughter it and sell it on as a high-quality product to butchers and restaurants.

He expected this business to be up and running in two or three weeks’ time, providing five to eight jobs during the start-up.

 

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