‘Possibly The Lowest Award Of Damages Ever Made In A Defamation Case’


From top: Claire Byrne arriving at the Four Courts on Friday; Nicky Kehoe leaving the courts on Friday.

This afternoon.

RTÉ reports:

A former Sinn Féin councillor and IRA gunman has been awarded €3,500 in his High Court case for damages against RTÉ for defamation.

Nicky Kehoe, who is now a political manager for Sinn Féin, had sued over comments made about him during a live radio debate in October 2015.

The jury found the contents of the broadcast meant that Mr Kehoe was not a fit person to be involved in the democratic process.

However, it found the broadcaster was only 35% responsible for the defamation and Joe Costello was responsible for 65%.

RTÉ lawyers say they plan to appeal the case and said it is possibly the lowest award of damages ever made in a defamation case.

Kehoe awarded €3,500 in defamation case against RTÉ (Vivienne Traynor, RTE)

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41 thoughts on “‘Possibly The Lowest Award Of Damages Ever Made In A Defamation Case’

      1. Matt Lucozade: The Only Reader of the Village

        Joe Costello. The TD for the constituency where most of the Kinahan-Hutch killing has taken place. I am sure he is around to offer condolences. Perhaps he sure isn’t around to offer condemnation.

    1. Rob_G

      RTÉ has deeper pockets; it’s normally the broadcaster/newspaper that gets sued, rather than the presenter/guest/author.

  1. George

    I don’t understand why are RTE lawyers complaining about the size the payout they have to make? Also there have been nominal awards of 1euro or 1pound in the past.

      1. George

        Actually he received 1 penny. Technically that was libel because it was before the introduction of the Defamation Act in 2009 but still it’s essentially the same offence.

  2. postmanpat

    Just 20 license payers will cover that. RTE will increase the fee to 200 next year so its nothing to them. Mr “not IRA ,honest wink -wink” will kick some cash back to his buddies too.

    1. The Dude

      Indeed; does their state looks after their mates?

      Interesting to contrast this small award to the previous award of 100s of thousands of euro when a caller to the Joe Duffy Show some years back made a reference to an act of fellatio. Both assertions were made without any foundation offered by either party.

      Yet it appears from this judgement that a suggestion of fellatio by an unknown caller is a much greater offence than that of a claim by a previous government minister of presumably reliable character that somebody is a member of an illegal organisation.

      Their state…

  3. Andrew

    Claire Byrne should not be hosting show like this either on radio or television. She’s been elevated way beyond her competency. It’s painful at times, how little she knows.

    1. Otis Blue

      And paid over 200k per annum.

      The ST reported yesterday that she does a lot of corporate gigs as well. No idea what they bring in though.

      She’s mediocre at best.

  4. Catherine costelloe

    Good for you, Mr Kehoe. RTE should stop claptrap when a murder is committed….the victim invariably described as being a ” suspect” in previous killings without a shred of evidence produced other than ” a source” ( unnamed of course) said so.

    1. qwerty123

      Exactly, there is no way in the world a former IRA gunman and current SF Councillor was involved in any murders, such a remote possibility.

      1. postmanpat

        You forgot convicted attempted kidnapper too. Seems like a nice guy. Shinners aren’t thugs at all.

        1. Neilo

          The very thought! I’m certain their likes will have more than a sneaking regard for the ‘fellow traveller’ filth arrested in connection with the slaughter of Det. Adrian Donohoe

      2. Catherine costelloe

        I am referring to the recent seventeen Dublin shooting victims in Dublin.
        The fact Mr Kehoe has renounced violence has got to be positive.

      3. Catherine costelloe

        There is a possibility FF Charlie Haughey and Neil Blamey “supplied” him with weapons.

    1. Neilo

      Careful, Rob, that’s like pouring laundered diesel on an open fire. Not that I’d suggest that the inheritors of the physical force tradition are often alleged to be the greatest collection of racketeers in Europe.

  5. the bottler

    “RTÉ lawyers say they plan to appeal the case”

    WHY ?

    Their fees will probably exceed €3,500. Can no one say stop to this gravy train?

    1. Cian

      Their lawyers are likely staff, the BL may be on an fixed or capped annual retainer (can’t be staff unless that law has changed)

    2. some old queen

      Probably because it sets a precedent. Even at this small amount RTE are going to need to be a lot more careful from here on.

  6. Jimmey_russell

    what am I supposed to think about the IRA? are they good guys? they killed a lot of conservatives after all, and they almost got Thatcher. plus they adhered to socialist principles right?

  7. david

    SO his reputation is in tatters
    A ex terrorist who murdered and also was part of murdering
    When you kill another human being you are just that a murderer
    So his excuse
    Patriot yep killing in cold blood is a patriot

  8. michael walsh

    Like Gerry, he is afraid of any admission as could end up at the International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law in the Hague

    1. david

      Never ceases to me these people go on a path may it be murder corruption and then after they have achieved everything they want they do not want to be remembered for exactly what they are
      Total scum of the earth
      I wonder how many victims families feel anything but hatred towards those who committed these acts

  9. Matt Lucozade: The Only Reader of the Village

    The point is that RTE was found guilty. It’s our money they’d shell out, so we win alround,

    1. david

      Was it not his own party member obrin or what ever the TD who named him
      Maybe if he did what all these Sinn feinners do ie keep their mouths shut over the past sins of their members no one would of been the wiser
      Surly he should sue obin to seek adress

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