legal action | 

Martin Foley sues publisher and author over references to him in book about IRA activist

The legal action is the second defamation case that Foley has taken in recent years

Martin Foley

Martin Foley

Mark TigheSunday World

Martin Foley has filed a High Court defamation case against publisher Penguin and author Sean O’Driscoll over references to him in a book about Rose Dugdale, the former IRA activist.

Foley, represented by MacGuill & Co Solicitors in Dundalk, filed the proceedings on Tuesday over the book Heiress, Rebel, Vigilante, Bomber: The Extraordinary Life of Rose Dugdale.

In the book, O’Driscoll describes the abduction of Foley and a friend in 1984 by republicans and the garda actions to free them. Dugdale is quoted as describing the incident as a “fantastic operation”.

Foley was rescued after gardaí chased the kidnappers' van to the Phoenix Park where Foley was freed after a shoot-out.

Today Penguin Ireland declined to comment on the defamation action. MacGuill & Co did not respond to a request to comment.

The legal action is the second defamation case that Foley has taken in recent years. In July 2021 he took an action against the BBC over a documentary about an investigation into a billion-dollar art theft in Boston.

Charley Hill, a former head of the Met Police’s art and antiques squad who famously recovered Edvard Munch’s The Scream in 1994 after it had been stolen, believed there was an Irish link to the Boston crime.

The BBC is represented in the legal action by A&L Goodbody but the only action in that case so far was the filing of an “intention to proceed” notice by Foley in December 2022.

Martin Foley

In 2013 Crumlin man Foley married Sonia Doyle, his second wife who is 26 years younger than him, in a ceremony in the Canary Islands.

Sonia Foley is listed as a director of a debt collection company since 2008. Martin Foley was a director from 2004 to 2014 when he was replaced as a director by Martin Gray, a marketing manager with an address in Manchester who has been the company’s only shareholder since 2014.

An English registered debt collection firm was struck off the company register in the beginning of 2021 as the company was dormant.

The Irish debt recovery company reported sales of €32,000 and a profit of €1,171 in 2021. It reported that it had one employee and one director who received salary payments of €10,511.

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