RTE apologises to businessman Declan Ganley

ireland
RTÉ has apologised to businessman Declan Ganley
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Ann O'Loughlin

RTÉ has apologised to businessman Declan Ganley who had sued the station over the contents of a Prime Time special programme broadcast almost 12 years ago.

The Galway-based businessman sued RTÉ over the programme, aired on November 27th 2008 claiming that it had gravely damaged his reputation and character, causing him distress and embarrassment.

He had sought damages, including aggravated and exemplary damages.

When the matter came before Mr Justice Bernard Barton at the High Court on Thursday Declan Doyle SC for Mr Ganley said that matter had been settled.

Counsel said that as part of the settlement RTE had apologised to Mr Ganley.

Apology

In the apology read to the court by Paul O'Higgins SC for RTE, it said in November 2008 it had "broadcast a Prime Time special programme concerning Mr Ganley.

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"In the course of the programme reference was made to the death of Kosta Tribecka, and an image was shown of his body."

"RTÉ accepts unreservedly as stated on the programme that the death of Mr Tribecka was wholly unrelated to Mr Ganley or any business related to him."

"RTÉ apologies to Mr Ganley for any hurt or distress that may have been caused." the apology concluded.

No other details of the settlement were aired in open court.

The judge, with the consent of the parties struck out the proceedings and vacated all previous orders, including pretrial orders, granted by the courts.

Galway based Mr Ganley was not present in court for the apology, but did observe the proceedings via video-link.

In a statement issued through his solicitors, Johnsons, said Mr Ganley he "is very satisfied with the apology received from RTÉ, together with the financial agreement reached."

"Our client regrets that he had to initiate these defamation proceedings arising from RTE's Prime Time broadcast on November 27th 2008 in order to vindicate his reputation and had to prosecute the claim to this stage before reaching settlement."

"However, our client is delighted with the result and today's formal apology." the statement concluded.

Following the settlement, the broadcaster also released a short statement. "RTÉ stands over the journalism of the programme 'Citizen Ganley' and is happy to agree to clarify one aspect of the programme as highlighted in the statement read in court. We are glad that after a decade of legal argument, a mutually beneficial agreement has now been reached on the matter."

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