The existence of absolute privilege (in the Oireachtas and the courts) is generally known. The existence of qualified privilege is less well known. There is a qualified privilege for words spoken, without malice, to protect property or detect crime. The leading UK textbook on Defamation, âGatley on Libel and Slanderâ? states:
Though there is no common interest involved, the Courts have long held that statements are privileged if made bona fide for the purpose of detecting and bringing to punishment a suspected criminal, or of recovering stolen goods. Thus, a person who suspects another of a particular theft may, with a view to inquiry, tax that individual with the theft, and although the suspicion turns out to be erroneous, the law gives no redress to the party accused.”
Consequentially, in the High Court case of McCormack v Olsthoorn  IEHC the Defendant, wrongly believing the Plaintiff had stolen a plant from him, publicly challenged him to that effect. The court ruled that the statement was made on an occasion of qualified privilege and found for the Defendant on that issue. (The Defendant lost on the issues of assault and false imprisonment).
[McCormack v Olsthoorn MAY REST ON ITS PARTICULAR FACTS. ARGUABLY, THE DEFENDANT COULD HAVE DEALT WITH THE MATTER A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY. WAS IT UNAVOIDABLE OF HIM TO SAY WHAT HE SAID, IN PUBLIC?]