Sgt Maurice McCabe settles defamation case against ‘Irish Times’

Newspaper apologises to whistleblower over article published in February of last year

The Irish Times has apologised before the High Court to Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe under a settlement of defamation proceedings. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

The Irish Times has apologised before the High Court to Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe under a settlement of defamation proceedings. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

 

The Irish Times has apologised before the High Court to Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe under a settlement of defamation proceedings.

The apology stated that the newspaper had made “appropriate amends” to Sgt McCabe, who had sued over an article published on February 20th of last year.

Michael McDowell SC, with Paul O’Higgins SC, instructed by Seán Costello solicitor, for Sgt McCabe, who was not in court, told Mr Justice Bernard Barton on Friday that the matter had settled.

Counsel said no order was required, except one for taxation of the plaintiff’s costs, on the basis of an apology being read by Cian Ferriter SC, with Ray Ryan BL, instructed by Hayes Solicitors, for The Irish Times.

Mr Ferriter then read the apology stating: “On the 20th February 2017, the Irish Times published an article in its print edition headed: ‘Woman behind alleged complaint about McCabe wants her day before inquiry’ and, in its online edition headed: ‘When Can I Get on With the Rest of my Life? – Woman at the centre of the McCabe case’.”

It continued: “The Director of Public Prosecutions determined, after a careful and professional investigation, that no offence of any kind had been disclosed against Sgt McCabe and that there was no basis in fact or in law for any prosecution. Contrary to what was suggested in the articles, the Director of Public Prosecutions did not base his direction on ‘insufficient evidence’.”

The apology stated: “The Irish Times fully accepts the DPP’s determination and it was never intended for the article to suggest otherwise. The Irish Times wishes to apologise to Sgt Maurice McCabe and his wife and family for the great hurt and damage caused to them by the publication of this article, and has made appropriate amends to Sgt McCabe.”

The judge agreed to make the order sought.