Monday 23 April 2018

Former IRA gunman faces €150,000 legal bill

RTÉ presenter Claire Byrne
RTÉ presenter Claire Byrne
Nicky Kehoe

Tim Healy and Shane Phelan

Former IRA gunman Nicky Kehoe faces a legal bill of up to €150,000 after his defamation action against RTÉ.

The High Court has made no order as to the legal costs in Mr Kehoe's defamation case against RTÉ in which he was awarded €3,500.

The order means both sides pay their own costs.

Legal sources suggested the figure for legal costs would be between €100,000 and €150,000.

In February, Mr Kehoe, who now works as a Sinn Féin political activist, was awarded €3,500 against RTÉ over a 'Saturday with Clare Byrne' radio broadcast in October 2015 following a hearing that lasted seven days.

A High Court jury made an overall award of €10,000 for the defamatory comment made by former TD Joe Costello on the show in which he (Costello) claimed that Mr Kehoe was a former IRA chief of staff who was directing Sinn Féin members of Dublin City Council how to vote.

Defamation

The jury found the national broadcaster was 35pc liable for the defamation while Mr Costello was 65pc at fault.

However, as Mr Kehoe did not sue Mr Costello, there was no judgment against him.

The jury found the broadcast was defamatory because it meant he was not a fit person to be involved in the democratic process.

The case was adjourned to deal with costs.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Bernard Barton was told the parties were seeking no order as to costs.

Irish Independent

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