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Tuesday 22 January 2019

'Sunday Times' stays silent on Walsh letter

David Walsh. Photo: Patrick O'Leary
David Walsh. Photo: Patrick O'Leary
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

'The Sunday Times' is refusing to say whether its management gave David Walsh permission to write a letter which helped secure a lesser sentence for paedophile Tom Humphries.

During the case, the court heard a character reference was submitted for Humphries by the paper's chief sports writer, Mr Walsh.

On Tuesday, Humphries was given a two-and-a-half-year sentence for defilement of a child.

Judge Karen O'Connor, describing mitigating circumstances for the jail term, said she gave consideration to two character references on behalf of Humphries from "close friends".

The other reference was by former Cork hurler Donal Óg Cusack, who stepped down from the board of Sport Ireland a number of hours after the sentencing hearing. In a statement, he said he did not want controversy to detract from the "important work" of Sport Ireland's board.

Mr Cusack previously apologised for any hurt or offence his actions caused.

'The Sunday Times,' which in July dropped columnist Kevin Myers for a piece deemed offensive to Jewish people, has resolutely refused to answer questions about Mr Walsh or his letter. Asked yesterday if a discussion had taken place with Mr Walsh, a spokesperson for the paper declined to comment. She also did not reply to questions about whether management had sanctioned Mr Walsh to write the reference, as his title and position with the paper was used in court.

The paper has said the letter was written in a personal capacity.

Irish Independent

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