Dana to receive second six-figure sum in 'Sunday World' settlement

The undisclosed settlement was confirmed in the Court of Appeal and brings the seven-year libel action to a close
Dana to receive second six-figure sum in 'Sunday World' settlement

Dana Rosemary Scallon, in 2018, after a previous settlement in the case. File Picture: Alan Erwin

Eurovision Song Contest winner and former politician Dana Rosemary Scallon is set to receive a second six-figure sum in damages arising from false claims made in a 2014 article in the Sunday World.

The undisclosed settlement was confirmed in the Court of Appeal in Dublin today and brings the seven-year libel action against the Independent News and Media (INM) and Sunday Newspapers group to a close.

The second settlement relates to false claims by the Sunday World on July 10, 2014, that Ms Scallon gave evidence connected to her brother John Brown, who was unanimously acquitted in 2014 of historic sex abuse charges.

The false claims were published online and on the newspaper’s Facebook page.

Second apology

On Monday, the newspaper issued a second apology to Ms Scallon and her family, having previously apologised and paid out a six-figure sum in damages in 2018 in relation to the same article.

The newspaper admitted that the “groundless” allegations defamed the former MEP and “reflected very badly on her character, good name and reputation”.

“We reservedly withdraw these allegations and have agreed to pay to Dana Rosemary Scallon a six-figure sum in damages and her legal costs. We wish to apologise sincerely to Dana Rosemary Scallon for the distress and harm caused to her and her family,” stated the newspaper group.

Kevin Winters, from KRW Law, which represented Ms Scallon, said it had been a “long battle”, in particular, given that the case had to go to the Court of Appeal.

Speaking after the second settlement, Ms Scallon said the claims were “despicable lies” and that everyone was entitled to protect their good name.

“What happened to me can happen to anyone, whether well-known or not," said Ms Scallon. "Everyone is entitled to protect their good name. This Sunday World publication was a despicable lie. 

"Amongst other things, the Sunday World’s article and Facebook page explicitly and falsely stated that I had engaged in a cover-up of child sex abuse. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those lies should never have been published.

'Groundless'

“The story was completely groundless and malicious and an unjustified assault on my reputation and all that I stand for. It was a deliberate attack on my good name, character, public and private life, and my integrity. 

"It is unacceptable that it has taken seven years to bring this episode to a close in Dublin, especially given that the publisher admitted in the Northern Ireland High Court, in 2018, that their article was false."

Ms Scallon won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1970 with ‘All Kinds of Everything’ and in later years entered politics, serving as an MEP for Connacht-Ulster and standing as an independent candidate in the presidential election.

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