O'Reilly partner settles privacy action

Tue, May 15, 2012, 01:00

A breach of privacy action brought by Nikki Pelley, the girlfriend of convicted murderer Joe O'Reilly, against the Irish Sun newspaper has been settled for €75,000, the High Court heard today.

Ms Pelley had sought an injunction and damages against the newspaper over the publication on March 19 and March 21st last year of private correspondence between her and Mr O'Reilly after he began serving a life sentence in 2007 for the murder of his wife Rachel in 2004.

Today, Hugh Mohan SC, for Ms Pelley told Mr Justice Roderick Murphy he was happy to tell the court the entire action had been settled on terms as agreed between the parties with an order for his client's High Court costs.

It is understood Ms Pelley is to receive a payment of €75,000 along with her costs and that the Sun has undertaken not to publish any of her private letters, emails or other communications in future.

In her statement of claim, Ms Pelley said copies of her letters were reproduced by the paper without her knowledge or consent and that as a result of their publication, she suffered extreme distress and humiliation.

She claimed her right to communicate and correspond freely had been wrongfully denied to her due to fears that her private correspondence would be published in a newspaper or via some other medium.

She sought a declaration that her right to privacy under the Constitution and under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights was breached by the publication of her letters.

She sought an injunction restraining the paper from publishing further such information.

She also asked the court for an order removing such information from the Sun's website and internet archive, including where it was placed by the paper itself or any site under its influence or control.