The High Court has struck out a defamation case taken against singer Dana Rosemary Scallon by her sister and a niece.
The decision follows an earlier ruling by the Court of Appeal that Ms Scallon's sister, Susan Stein, and Ms Stein's daughter Susan Gorrell had to have €150,000 available as security for legal costs in the event that they lost the case they were taking against the singer.
The action arose out of a television interview broadcast on TV3 in October 2011, when Ms Scallon was asked about allegations of sexual abuse made against her brother John Brown.
Ms Gorrell claimed she had been abused by Mr Brown. Ms Scallon described the allegations as false and malicious.
Ms Stein and Ms Gorrell claimed the comments made by Ms Scallon meant that they had maliciously made up the claims.
Mr Brown was acquitted by a jury in Harrow Crown Court in England in July 2014 of charges of indecent assault against Ms Gorrell and another girl from 1971 to 1976. He and his sister had maintained at all times that he was innocent.
Ms Stein and Ms Gorrell had also sued TV3 as part of the same action. The television station apologised and paid compensation just before Mr Brown's trial began.
Ms Scallon sought a security for costs order against the two women, meaning money would have to be put up in court by the plaintiffs to cover legal costs if they lost the case.
The Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Ms Scallon in 2018, after she appealed the High Court's refusal to make such an order and ordered Ms Stein and Ms Gorrell to put up €150,000 between them in security.
Lawyers for Ms Scallon asked the High Court to dismiss the action today on the grounds that Ms Stein and Ms Gorrell had not complied with the order for security for costs, and that there was an inordinate delay in proceeding with the case.
In a sworn document, Ms Scallon also alleged that the continuation of the action was frivolous or vexatious. She said her brother had been acquitted of the charges which were based on the same allegations she had described as "false and malicious lies", "false accusations" or "unsubstantiated and malicious rumours".
In his ruling, striking out the action, Mr Justice Brian O'Moore said Ms Stein had emailed Ms Scallon's solicitors saying that neither she nor her daughter could continue with the action as they were not in a position to pay the security for costs.
Ms Stein said they stood by the statements they made but were unable to continue with the action for financial reasons.
Mr Justice O'Moore said the women had no ability to meet the order. He said such defamation proceedings would have weighed heavily on Ms Scallon and there was a "desirability" to bring finality to proceedings which were never going to move forward.
An application by Ms Scallon's lawyers to seek a contribution towards her costs from TV3 will be heard at a later date.
In a statement, Ms Scallon's solicitor, Kevin Winters of KRW LAW, welcomed the decision to strike out the actions.
He said Ms Scallon had waited over 10 years to get to this point and they now intended to issue High Court proceedings for malicious falsehood against Ms Stein and Ms Gorrell.
He said today's ruling amounted to a complete vindication of Ms Scallon and her brother who had suffered terribly as a result of unfounded allegations.
Ms Scallon added that she was delighted at the dismissal of the unfounded claims. She said the case did not have any merit and today was an immense relief for her and for her family.