Monday 23 October 2017

'I'd rather be shot than face court,' priest told his lawyer

Mark Hilliard

FATHER Kevin Reynolds told his barrister he would "rather be shot" than endure the serious allegations made against him by 'Prime Time Investigates'.

The Galway priest also told senior counsel Jack Fitzgerald of his fear of what would be said about him during a court hearing of the civil proceedings.

Brief details of his consultation with Mr Fitzgerald featured in a discussion between the barrister and the High Court's taxing master, Declan O'Neill.

Mr O'Neill was the court official who reviewed the level of legal fees payable to Fr Reynolds's solicitor Robert Dore and his legal team.

However, the contents of his overall report -- published on Wednesday -- have brought to light further details surrounding the build-up to the civil action against RTE.

In his report, Mr O'Neill noted: "Mr Fitzgerald stated that this was the most worrying and onerous case which he had dealt with in 42 years at the bar.

"In the course of consultation the plaintiff had said to him that he would have preferred to have been shot (rather than have endured the accusations levelled at him)."

Mr Fitzgerald noted that the defamed priest did not want to be in court and could not understand why he was there.

"The client was in fear of 'what would they say about him in court?'" the report noted.

Mr Fitzgerald had also said that RTE's apology should be read into the court record by himself and that the "people who had caused the damage" should "hear the record being put straight".

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News