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Defamation case against ex-TD Breathnach settled, High Court hears

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Mary Lou McDonald and Declan Breathnach. Photo Credits: Adrian Crawley/Oireachtas Flickr.

A defamation lawsuit brought against former Fianna Fáil TD Declan Breathnach has been settled, the High Court has heard, after Breathnach issued an apology to the Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.

An apology, part of the agreed settlement terms, from the Knockbridge man was read out in court earlier today by his legal representative Darren Lehane BL. A financial settlement has also been reached. Breathnach lost his seat in Dáil Éireann in February, after just one term as a TD.

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The case was brought against him after a tweet he published in October 2018, responding to a tweet of McDonald’s own in which she offered support for retired Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe. In his apology, read out in the High Court, Breathnach said, “I wrongly accused Ms McDonald of being a hypocrite and someone who condoned the murders of members of An Garda Siochána.

“I deeply regret that I made these unfounded and damaging accusations and I retract them in full. I unreservedly apologise to Ms McDonald fore the upset and distress caused by my comments and for my unjustified attack on her reputation.”

Ms McDonald’s action alleged that Mr Breathnach’s tweet defamed her. She sought aggravated damages and an injunction against similar comments being made against her by the defandant. Read more here: Irish Examiner.

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