A family who were forced to leave their new home in Kerry because of the leaking of confidential information by gardaí to journalists have been awarded €70,000 in the High Court.

Alan and Phyllis Gray and their son Francis are originally from Blanchardstown in Co Dublin but moved to Ballybunion under the Rural Resettlement Programme. 

They sued the Minister for Justice for breach of privacy.

They say they had to leave their home after gardaí leaked to the media that Mr Gray's nephew, who had served a sentence for rape, was staying with them. 

Alan and Phyllis Gray and their five children ended up staying in a room in a bed and breakfast for six months.

Mrs Gray began to suffer from depression and tried to kill herself.

Mr Justice John Quirke said he was satisfied that the unlawful and negligent disclosure of information by gardaí to a journalist had violated the family's constitutional rights to privacy and the peaceful enjoyment of their home.

He awarded €5,000 in damages to Francis Gray, €15,000 to Alan Gray and €50,000 to Phyllis Gray. 

He said Mrs Gray had suffered most as a result of what had happened.

He granted lawyers for the State a stay on the award pending a possible appeal.