Saturday 19 August 2017

Child-killer 'happy' after settling libel action against TV3

Tim Healy

CHILD killer Wayne O'Donoghue last night expressed his delight after settling his long-running libel action against broadcaster TV3.

Details of the settlement were not revealed in the High Court but it is understood that O'Donoghue, who travelled home to Ireland last Sunday to testify in the action, did not receive any damages, although TV3 contributed toward his legal costs.

Yesterday, TV3 retracted a statement that wrongly claimed the Cork student's semen had been found on the body of schoolboy Robert Holohan.

In a statement, his solicitor Frank Buttimer said: "Wayne O'Donoghue is pleased and happy that TV3 has withdrawn an inaccurate statement of fact from the record."

Mr Buttimer said his client's action was not about securing damages or an apology, but to correct the record.

The libel action is one of five separate defamation actions launched by O'Donoghue in the wake of media coverage of his sentencing hearing on January 24, 2006.

Dumped

Robert was 11 when he was killed by his neighbour O'Donoghue on January 4, 2005. His body was found dumped near Inch Strand, Co Cork.

O'Donoghue, from Ballyedmond in Midleton, Co Cork, was jailed for four years for his manslaughter in January 2006.

TV3 yesterday acknowledged in the High Court there was no evidence that semen found on Robert's body was that of O'Donoghue. Declan Doyle, for O'Donoghue, told the court the case had been settled and a statement would be read out on behalf of TV3 as part of that settlement.

In the statement, read by Paul O'Higgins for TV3, it stated the television company acknowledged there was no evidence that semen found on Robert's body was that of O'Donoghue; and as that was the case, the matter could be struck out with no order. Mr Justice Eamon de Valera made the order.

O'Donoghue (25) has built a new life for himself in the UK since his release from prison in 2008.

The action against TV3 was over what was aired on the evening of O'Donoghue's sentencing, and 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 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.

Irish Independent

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