Court to clear child killer's settlement
THE High Court will today be asked to ratify the settlement of a libel action taken by Wayne O'Donoghue against TV3 over their coverage of the Robert Holohan (11) manslaughter case, writes Ralph Riegel.
The settlement is expected to involve a statement of clarification by TV3 about a broadcast it made on the day O'Donoghue received a four-year prison sentence for the manslaughter of his young neighbour in Midleton, Co Cork.
No other details of the settlement were available last night.
The Irish Independent understands that O'Donoghue -- who has built a new life for himself in the UK since he was released from prison in 2008 -- was prepared to give sworn evidence in the action. He will not be required to do so now that an outline settlement has been agreed. The High Court in Dublin will be asked today to approve details of the settlement with Paul O'Higgins, counsel for TV3 and Ronan Monroe, counsel for O'Donoghue.
The libel action against TV3 was one of five separate defamation actions launched by O'Donoghue in the wake of media coverage of his sentencing hearing on January 24 2006.
The TV3 broadcast complained of was aired that evening. Media coverage focused on the victim impact statement made by Robert's mother, Majella Holohan.
The statement raised several issues that had not formed any part of the two-week trial in which O'Donoghue was unanimously acquitted of murder. One of the issues raised by Mrs Holohan was that traces of semen were found on her son's body.
O'Donoghue had pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the opening day of the Central Criminal Court trial on November 29 2005.