Libertas chairman Declan Ganley has resolved injunction proceedings against Village Magazine over an article that includes a quote from Government Minister Dick Roche describing Mr Ganley as a ‘snake-oil salesman’.
Mr Ganley also claimed the article contained other untrue and serious allegations that bore the meaning that he, through his conduct concerning telecommunications contracts in Iraq, is responsible through corruption for the deaths of many police officers and soldiers.
In an affidavit, Mr Ganley said all of the allegations made were ‘totally and utterly untrue’, without foundation and were ‘a deliberate attempt at character assassination’.
He said his credibility and reputation are central both to his involvement in Libertas and to his professional life and Village had called these into question ‘and in fact goes further in that it expressly states that I am a fraud and a liar’, he said.
Following publication of the article, titled ‘The Beginning of the End for Declan Ganley’ in the magazine's edition of 6 February, Mr Ganley initiated libel proceedings against Ormond Quay Publishing Ltd, publishers of Village.
Prior to the hearing of the action, his counsel Peter Finlay SC applied yesterday for an interim injunction requiring all copies of Village to be removed from shops and also requiring the article to be removed from the magazine's website.
Counsel also said he would be seeking to join the magazine's editor, Michael Smith, and the author of the article, Kevin Barrington, to the action.
However, after talks between the sides, Mr Finlay told Mr Justice John MacMenamin the parties had come to a resolution of the differences between them and he was happy for Eoin McCullough SC, for the defendants, to read an agreed statement to the court and for the case to be adjourned for two weeks.
The agreed statement said: ‘The Village Magazine strongly upholds its right to engage in vigorous investigation and comment on matters of public interest. Mr Ganley not only supports, but advocates, this right.
‘The Village however acknowledges that, given the opportunity, it would have been preferable to have interviewed Mr Ganley before publishing serious allegations about him. It has now been afforded this opportunity and will in its next edition, record and publish accurately the answers given by Mr Ganley in a wide ranging interview relating to both the issues giving rise to these proceedings and to other issues of interest to Mr Ganley and to the public.’
The case was then adjourned by the judge for two weeks.
Earlier, in outlining the application, Mr Finlay told Mr Justice Roderick Murphy he was seeking the injunction in the context of a libel action arising from publication of the ‘hugely defamatory’ article in Village.
Counsel said the ‘most outrageous’ claims were made about Mr Ganley, suggesting he was a liar who had engaged in behaviour to covertly influence a telecomunications contract during the war in Iraq.
The suggestion was Mr Ganley had schemed in such a way as to the cause the deaths of soldiers and police officers in Iraq, some of whom could have been saved were it not for Mr Ganley's activities relating to the contract, counsel said.
Such claims were untrue and were deliberately made to malign the reputation of Mr Ganley, Mr Finlay said.
Mr Finlay also said the cover of the Village Magazine edition was headlined ‘The Celtic Rats’ and had a sub-heading, ‘Declan Ganley, Snake oil Salesman’.
This related to a quote attributed to Minister for European Affairs Dick Roche, which was included at the end of the article complained of.
Mr Roche was quoted as saying: ‘Declan Ganley is a liar, a self-mythologiser, a snake-oil salesman.’
All of this material was libellous and untrue, counsel said.