Waterford Fine Gael Senator Paudie Coffey has settled his High Court action over a newspaper article which he said defamed him.Following a 13-day trial last December, the jury was discharged on December 11th after it failed to reach a verdict, having deliberated for 11 hours over two days.
The former TD and former Minister of State for the Environment sued Iconic Newspapers and a journalist over an article in the Kilkenny People on January 15th, 2016
The article arose from a statement from fellow FG TD John Paul Phelan on the boundary issue of South Kilkenny.After the jury was discharged, the case was put back into the list to fix dates while the issue of the costs of the 13-day trial was to be dealt with separately.When this costs matter came before Mr Justice Bernard Barton on Wednesday last, Richard Kean SC, for Mr Coffey, told the judge he was “very relieved and pleased to say the entire matter is resolved” and as part of the resolution a statement was to be read out by Rossa Fanning SC on behalf of the defendants.
In a statement, Senator Coffey’s solicitor Georgina Robinson said: “Senator Coffey took this case to protect his family name as he was always very conscious of the good name and reputation of all his family and the good standing the Coffey name has in his community and beyond.”
She said Mr Coffey was remembering his late father Pat, late mother Eileen and late sister Ita.
The statement also welcomed the fact that the defendants regret the upset caused to him and his family.
He thanked his family and friends for their support and said he looked forward to focusing on the next general election.