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Former TD who libelled Sinn Fein's McDonald says sorry

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Mary Lou McDonald

Mary Lou McDonald

Mary Lou McDonald

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald has received an apology and an undisclosed financial settlement from a former Fianna Fail TD as part of the settlement of defamation proceedings.

Ms McDonald sued Declan Breathnach in Dublin's High Court over comments on Twitter in which she alleged he portrayed her as condoning the murders of gardai. The former Louth TD's posts came on the day an Irish tribunal published its report on the treatment of Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

Mr Justice Charles Meenan heard yesterday the matter had been settled on confidential terms. A statement of apology from Mr Breathnach was read out by his counsel.

"On October 11, 2018 I published a statement on Twitter concerning Mary Lou McDonald in which I wrongly accused Ms McDonald of being a hypocrite and someone who condoned the murders of members of An Garda Siochana," the statement said.

"I deeply regret that I made these unfounded and damaging accusations and I retract them in full. I unreservedly apologise to Ms McDonald for the upset and distress caused by my comments and for my unjustified attack on her reputation."

Belfast Telegraph