Davison to donate part of €80k libel award to charity

FORMER Miss World Rosanna Davison has promised to donate some of her €80,000 libel award to the Dublin Simon Community.

The 27-year-old model and student received the money following her legal action against Ryanair in the High Court last week.

“Thanks once more for the messages of support and I can confirm that the Simon Community will be one of the beneficiaries,” said Ms Davison in a message posted on Twitter.

The homeless charity featured in the five-day libel trial as Ms Davison criticised Ryanair in an Irish Independent article in November 2008 for not using any Irish models in its annual charity calendar, whose proceeds were being donated to the Dublin Simon Community.

Ryanair reacted to Ms Davison’s comments by posting a press release on its website accusing the former Miss World of making comments which “bordered on racism”.

However, Ms Davison sued the airline on the basis that such remarks meant she was racist, xenophobic and jealous. A jury found that the comments, made by Ryanair’s head of communications, Stephen McNamara, were defamatory.

It awarded Ms Davison €40,000 in compensation and a further €40,000 in aggravated damages.

Speaking after the verdict last Friday, Mr McNamara said it would be a “good outcome” if the model gave some of her award to the Dublin Simon Community.

However, he stressed that it was a matter for Ms Davison alone to decide.

Ms Davison — a daughter of well-known singer, Chris de Burgh — celebrated her victory by attending her father’s concert at the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin on Friday night.

Meanwhile, Ryanair removed the offending article from its website over the weekend.


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