Belfast Telegraph

Legal bill for libelled Northern Ireland Water boss £90k

David Young

A Stormont department that apologised to a former director of Northern Ireland Water is set to pay out around £90,000 to cover his legal costs.

Department for Regional Development (DRD) Minister Danny Kennedy said sorry to Declan Gormley last year over his dismissal as a non-executive director by the former minister, Sinn Fein's Conor Murphy, in 2010.

In settling the case the department agreed to pay his legal fees.

Mr Kennedy yesterday told the Assembly that bill now sat at just over £80,000, with some costs yet to be added on.

"The final legal costs are expected to be close to £90,000," he added. "My department is endeavouring to complete matters as quickly as possible."

In apologising, Mr Kennedy said the DRD acknowledged he had not been guilty of any personal wrongdoing or misconduct.

Mr Murphy questioned the DRD's decision to settle the case.

Mr Gormley won a libel case against Sinn Fein over Press statements it issued in relation to his dismissal. He was awarded £80,000 plus costs.

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