Defamation

Minister Reilly Settles Defamation Case against Associated Newspapers


 

Minister James Reilly has settled his defamation case against Associated Newspapers – the publishers of the Irish Mail on Sunday – for an undisclosed amount.

On 7th October 2012, the Irish Mail on Sunday published an article entitled “Reilly Link to Developer of Second Clinic”, alleging that the then Minister for Children had links with the property developer building an HSE primary care centre in Swords, Dublin.

In the article it was claimed that Dr Reilly had previously sold land to the same developer for the construction of luxury homes and implied that Dr Reilly had abused his position as Minister for Children by granting a public contract to a developer with whom he had personal links.

Minister Reilly took legal action in November 2012, and his defamation case against Associated Newspapers was scheduled to be heard at the High Court. However, before proceedings started, Judge Iseult O´Malley was told that the case had been settled for an undisclosed amount.

The hearing still went ahead and – instead of deciding the defamation case against Associated Newspapers, a representative from the Irish Mail on Sunday read an apology to Dr Reilly in which it was acknowledged that the “grave allegation” was without foundation and should not have been made.

The apology continued by saying any implication that the Minister had exploited his position in the Health Department was “wholly without foundation” and the Irish Mail on Sunday was happy to unreservedly apologise to Dr Reilly for any damage or distress caused by the article.