Senator Fidelma Healy Eames receives apology over newspaper article

Monday 28 July 2014 23.08
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Fidelma Healy Eames received an apology and damages
Fidelma Healy Eames received an apology and damages
Ms Healy Eames and her husband Michael pictured during their action against Associated Newspapers
Ms Healy Eames and her husband Michael pictured during their action against Associated Newspapers

Associated Newspapers has apologised to Senator Fidelma Healy Eames for two articles published in the Irish Daily Mail two years ago.

The High Court was told this morning that defamation proceedings being taken against the newspaper group by the senator could be struck out.

The articles were printed in the Irish Daily Mail on 20 and 21 August 2012.

In an apology read to the court today Associated Newspapers, which owns the Irish Daily Mail, said the articles were about the participation of Senator Healy Eames and her husband Michael Eames, as volunteers with the Voluntary Service Overseas charity in Rwanda.

The statement said: "We wish to make it clear that their participation was exclusively in support of the charity in Rwanda.

"We also accept that the articles gave the wholly inaccurate impression that the Senator had benefited from public or charity funds".

The statement continued that the senator voluntarily devoted her time and expertise to working with the Ministry of Education in the areas of early childhood and special needs education.

Reading the statement Michael Kealey, solicitor with Associated Newspapers, said: "We apologise to the senator and her family for the embarrassment caused by our reports".

Speaking afterwards, Senator Eames said she felt vindicated.

Along with the apology, the settlement also included an undisclosed sum of money.

The senator said she will be making a donation to Rwandan widows and orphans of the Genocide, the charity she met while in Rwanda.

In a statement, her solicitor Paul Tweed said: "My client is satisfied that the record has finally been set straight and her reputation totally vindicated with this categorical apology before the High Court this morning."