Euromillions winner Dolores McNamara has hired Michael McDowell and Michelle de Bruin to represent her in a landmark case against several newspapers for allegedly breaching her privacy.
McNamara scooped a record €113m in 2005 and has assembled a legal team of heavyweights to take on her case which will be heard in the High Court.
The 49-year-old is citing "intrusive
media interest", in her civil action against The Daily Mail, The Star, The Sun and The News of the World.
Former tánaiste and justice minister Michael McDowell will act as her senior counsel, while disgraced former international swimmer Michelle de Bruin will act as her junior counsel.
Her legal team will argue that, because she did not become a public figure by her own choice, she should not be considered "fair game" by newspapers in the same way as politicians and celebrities are seen as "open season" because they made a conscious decision to enter public life.
"She won the Euromillions and became a public figure but she did not choose to enter public life. It will be argued that a lot of these stories were a major intrusion into her sons' lives. Her sons have been targeted. Just because someone wins money it doesn't mean her extended family can be targeted in the public arena," said a legal source.
"This is the first case of its kind. It has the potential to change how newspapers chase stories. An audit of the press coverage of Dolores McNamara's win began in 2008 and I believe there was an awful lot of material. It was a huge story and the interest in her family has been unprecedented."
The Limerick woman is understood to be shocked by continued media interest in her life since her win four years ago.
"It's been a long time but a week has never gone by without a 'Dolores story'. No one could have been prepared for the level of media interest in all aspects of her life. The fact that she wasn't particularly wealthy made it an even better story and the fact that she won the money in the summer, a notoriously quiet time for newspapers, was also a factor in the media interest," said another legal source.
"I don't believe she's taking this case to win damages. Let's face it, she doesn't need the money. She's taking this case to stop these type of stories appearing in the newspapers in the future, which she feels are a major intrusion and cause her deep unhappiness."
Many articles about the Limerick woman and her momentous win have focused on probing her sons' background and whether they are spending her winnings, as well as speculating about their lifestyles.
A plethora of newspaper stories also appeared when it emerged that her nephew, Anthony 'Noddy' McCarthy, was one of five men convicted in 2003 of the murder of Limerick crime boss Kieran Keane.
"She has felt under siege by the press. It seems there's an insatiable interest in her and her family. She obviously feels legal action is the only way to get her life back," the source added.