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Thursday 22 February 2018

Melanie's delight as Gerry book back on sale

Melanie Verwoerd outside the High Court in Dublin after the ruling
Melanie Verwoerd outside the High Court in Dublin after the ruling

Dearbhail McDonald and Tim Healy

MELANIE Verwoerd is "delighted" that her controversial book about her late partner Gerry Ryan will be back on the bookshelves today.

But readers of 'When We Dance' will receive a slip of paper containing an important clarification about music promoter Dave Kavanagh, a friend of Mr Ryan.

Retailers worked overnight to insert the wording, known as an erratum slip, into the book which is expected to become a Christmas bestseller.

'When We Dance' was pulled from the bookshelves on October 10 last, the day it was published, when Mr Kavanagh secured a temporary court injunction preventing its sale.


It is understood that Mr Kavanagh, who is battling cancer and did not attend any of the High Court hearings, will not receive any financial compensation as part of the resolution of the high-profile dispute.

The injunction was lifted after Ms Verwoerd's barrister, Declan Doyle, read a brief statement, saying the former South African ambassador was happy to acknowledge Mr Kavanagh was and remains a good friend of Mr Ryan.

"It was to Mr Kavanagh that Gerry turned to for help shortly before his untimely death and he (Mr Kavanagh) indicated that he would help in whatever way he could to alleviate the financial pressure on Gerry," the statement said.

The statement added that Ms Verwoerd does not and never intended to suggest that Mr Kavanagh behaved inappropriately on the day before the broadcaster died.

Former Unicef Ireland chief Ms Verwoerd, accompanied by solicitor Paul Tweed, smiled as the statement was read in court.

Ms Verwoerd said she never had any problem about making the clarification, which was made in court.

"I am just delighted that 'When We Dance' will be back on the shelves," she said.

She hoped people would buy the book and form their own opinions based on its contents.

In a statement, Mr Kavanagh said that he was very pleased that his strong friendship with Ryan was acknowledged in court by Ms Verwoerd.

"Gerry was a good friend for more than 30 years and I never neglected that friendship," said Mr Kavanagh. "I miss him greatly."

Sean O'Keeffe, of publishers Liberties Press, also said afterwards the last few weeks had been very stressful.

He wanted to thank a number of people, including his colleagues at Liberties Press "who acted with impeccable professionalism throughout".

Liberties Press escaped a major financial hit as there had been fears that the entire print run of books would have to be pulped, had the injunction not been lifted.

Liberties Press declined to reveal how many copies of 'When we Dance' have been printed but it is estimated that 5,000 to 6,000 books are ready for sale.

This would represent an income for the publisher of as much as €107,000 at the retail price of €17.99.

Now industry experts are predicting that the added publicity surrounding the court case will actually help boost sales.

The initial injunction obtained by Mr Kavanagh temporarily restrained Liberties Media Ltd, trading as Liberties Press, from selling, publishing or distributing the book until yesterday.

It also restrained publication of details of the material about which Mr Kavanagh had complained. Mr Kavanagh had sought the injunction under section 33 of the Defamation Act 2009.

Irish Independent

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