Monday 19 August 2019

Former minister of state gets apology under defamation case settlement

Former Labour TD Joe Costello
Former Labour TD Joe Costello

Tim Healy

Former Labour Party TD and Minister for State Joe Costello has settled a High Court defamation action over an article in the Irish Mail on Sunday.

The terms of settlement included an apology read in court to Mr Costello on Friday.

Mr Costello, who is a candidate in the forthcoming elections for Dublin City Council and was in court with his wife Emer, had sued Associated Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd over an article published in the Irish Mail on Sunday on February 14th 2016.

Today, Declan Doyle SC, for Mr Costello, told Mr Justice Bernard Barton the case had settled on terms including an apology to be read in court by counsel for the newspaper.

It stated: “We wish to apologise to Mr Joe Costello for the contents of the article about him in the edition of the Irish Mail on Sunday of the 14th February 2016. The picture accompanying the article was headlined HYPOCRISY! on the front page. The story continued on pages four and five. We accept that the assertion of hypocrisy and the further assertion that Mr Costello was ‘posing gleefully’ with Mr Gerard Hutch aka ‘the monk’ was incorrect and untrue. Mr Costello’s political career as a City Councillor, Senator, TD and Minister for Trade and Development has been one of the utmost probity and integrity. We apologise to Mr Costello for the distress and embarrassment caused to him by our report.”

After the apology was read, Mr Justice Bernard Barton made on order on consent striking out the proceedings.

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