Ban on Verwoerd memoir lifted after settlement

A book by the former partner of late broadcaster Gerry Ryan is back on the shelves today after a High Court action temporarily preventing its distribution was settled.

When We Dance, an autobiography by Melanie Verwoerd, was due to go on sale last week when music promoter David Kavanagh, a friend of Mr Ryan, obtained a temporary injunction preventing its sale, claiming he had been defamed in the book.

Yesterday, the High Court was due to hear an application to continue that injunction, pending the full hearing of Mr Kavanagh’s action.

Ms Justice Mary Laffoy was told that, following talks yesterday, the matter had been settled on the basis of a statement to be read out in court which, it was revealed later, is also being inserted into the book when it goes on sale.

The statement, which was read by Declan Doyle SC, for Ms Verwoerd, said she was happy to acknowledge Mr Kavanagh was a good friend of Mr Ryan. It was to Mr Kavanagh that Mr Ryan had turned for help shortly before his death, the statement read.

Mr Kavanagh “indicated he would help in whatever way he could to alleviate the financial pressure on Gerry”, the statement said.

The statement added: “Melanie Verwoerd does not and never has suggested that Mr Kavanagh behaved in any way inappropriately.”

Ms Justice Laffoy agreed to an application from Brian O’Moore SC, for Mr Kavanagh, for last week’s injunction be vacated and no further order be made.

Mr Kavanagh, of Hatch St, Dublin, obtained a temporary injunction under Section 33 of the Defamation Act 2009 restraining the publishers, Liberties Media Ltd, trading as Liberties Press, from selling, publishing or distributing the book.

Ms Verwoerd, a former South African ambassador to Ireland, said afterwards she never had any problem about making the clarification that was read in court.

“I am just delighted that When We Dance will be back on the shelves tomorrow, if not hopefully tonight,” she said.

She said she hoped people would buy the book and form their own opinions based on its contents.

Sean O’Keeffe, of Liberties Press, said afterwards that the past few weeks had been stressful. He wanted to thank a number of people, including his colleagues, “who acted with impeccable professionalism throughout”.

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