TV3 have consented to the making of a court order restraining it from re-broadcasting archive material it holds of two sisters leaving a criminal court where a nephew was tried and convicted of murder and drugs charges.
Judge Matthew Deery was told in the Circuit Civil Court that Mary McKeon, Galtymore Road, Drimnagh, Dublin 12, and her sister Lorraine Reilly, had sought injunctions under defamation legislation against the television station. Ms Reilly’s address was not divulged in court.
Ms McKeon stated they were both filmed leaving the court in 2009 in the company of Natasha McEnroe, girlfriend of Brian Rattigan, (32) during his trial for the murder of Declan Gavin (21) and the handing down of a life sentence and 17-year sentence on Rattigan for the murder and drugs offences.
She said the 2009 broadcast had gone out in the 5:30 news and had been repeated on January 11, 2011 and again in March, 2013.
They were both aunts of Rattigan, who was a son of their sister, Eileen, and they had been attending the trial because their sister had not wanted to be at the hearings.
Following the 2009 trial, the film footage had been used to illustrate items of news and current affairs documentaries concerning Rattigan.
Ms Mc Keon stated in her affidavit grounding their application for legal restraints on TV3 that film of the sisters in the company of Ms McEnroe was defamatory of them in that it implied they endorsed or were involved in the gangland activities for which Rattigan had been imprisoned.
On January 2011 TV3 had broadcast a series of programmes entitled ‘Cocaine Wars’ in which they used the 2009 court film clearly portraying them as supporters of Natasha McEnroe and supporters of criminal conduct including grievous acts of violence, murder, drug dealing and gangland activity.
Ms Mc Keon said that in 2011 the television station had given undertakings to their solicitor, James Mac Guill, with respect to discontinuing the broadcast of the footage and had agreed to remove it from its website.
At the time she and Ms Reilly had been satisfied with the undertaking and payment of their legal fees but in March 2013 Brian Rattigan had again been the subject of news broadcasts and again the footage had been broadcast.
She said no attempt had been made by TV3 to identify which person was Natasha McEnroe.
Ms McKeon stated in her affidavit, presented to the court in a motion seeking injunctions against TV3, that neither she nor her sister were involved in drug dealing or any form of criminality.
She said their attendance at the criminal court trial had not been in any way supportive of acts of violence, drug dealing or criminal activities.
Counsel for the sisters said TV3 had settled the proceedings by consenting to the court making an order restraining it from broadcasting the footage again. An agreement had been reached on costs.