Priest celebrates libel victory with family

Caroline Crawford

THE GALWAY priest defamed by RTE celebrated his successful defamation case against the broadcaster by officiating at a family wedding.

Fr Kevin Reynolds was at the wedding of his nephew, also called Kevin, in a ceremony in Tralee, Co Kerry, on Friday, and enjoyed a family celebration afterwards.

Fr Reynolds told the Herald he was relieved the case was finally behind him and told how the support of his family and parishioners had helped him through his ordeal.

"I am very relieved. I came back home to Ahascragh last night and I joined a group of people in prayer. We didn't really celebrate, it was just over a dozen people who joined me in a prayer group.

"We've been building up to it all week and we've been holding prayer nights since Monday," he added.

Fr Reynolds spoke as his solicitor called on RTE to explain how the journalist at the centre of the erroneous report herself responded "in the most strident terms" to legal correspondence, which protested Fr Reynolds' innocence.

And Robert Dore, who took the case of the Ahascragh parish priest on a pro bono basis, also wants to find out from RTE who "fingered" his client.

In his view it was shocking that, right up to the result of Fr Reynolds' paternity test being produced, the broadcaster had insisted that what it had said about him was true.


In a statement, RTE said it noted and respected Mr Dore's comments.

"Clearly, serious errors were made in this case. RTE is currently reviewing the production of this programme and the steps and decisions taken which led to its being broadcast in a defamatory form.

"In addition, Prof John Horgan is carrying out an independent review of the standing editorial steps and processes by which programmes or this sort come to air.

"We will not be commenting on individual elements of the programme and its preparation, or on the outturns of review activity until after that activity is completed," the statement said.