Independent Newspapers apologises to penalty-points-story journalist

Independent Newspapers apologises to penalty-points-story journalist

Independent Newspapers has apologised to one of its former journalists Gemma O'Doherty as part of a settlement of a High Court defamation action.

The reporter from Shankill in Dublin lost her job in the Irish Independent in 2013 following an investigation she carried out into the wiping of penalty points.

The investigative reporter later spoke outside the High Court about the need to safeguard a free press.

"Journalists have an obligation to hold power to account, be it in An Garda Síochána, Dáil Éireann, the health service, and other institutions of the State," she said.

"We must be allowed to do our work, without fear of favour."

Today she settled a defamation action against her former employers for an undisclosed sum.

The case arose over the handling of her redundancy from the Irish Independent in 2013 after she carried out an investigation into the wiping of penalty points.

Her work was today recognised as "exceptional" in an apology read out in court on behalf of her former employers who said she "acted at all times in a professional and diligent manner".

Her solicitor, Paul Tweed, said: "This formal apology from Independent Newspapers, read before the High Court this morning, not only brings Gemma O'Doherty's defamation proceedings to a conclusion, but also completes the vindication of her professional reputation."

Ms O'Doherty says she intends to continue her career and uphold the rights of citizens who have been denied justice by the State.

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