A businessman who was falsely referred to as a convicted drugs dealer in newspaper reports about the funeral of RTE broadcaster Gerry Ryan has received a High Court apology.
Associated Newspapers (Irl) Ltd, publishers of the Mail titles, unreservedly apologised to Aidan Cosgrave for the injury to his reputation and for the distress and embarrassment caused to him.
The apology stated Mr Cosgrave is not a convicted drug dealer and has never dealt in drugs.
Mr Cosgrave (55) of Londonbridge Road, Sandymount, Dublin, took the action after the Irish Mail on Sunday and the Irish Daily Mail published reports on December 12 and 13, 2010, about the funeral of the RTE broadcaster.
One of the reports was headed "Convicted drugs dealer was at Gerry's funeral".
The articles had been published in the context of the controversy surrounding the finding of the inquest into the death of Gerry Ryan, who had died on April 30, 2010.
When the case was called before Mr Justice Eamon deValera today, Frank Callinan SC, instructed by solicitor Robert Dore, for Mr Cosgrave, told the judge it had been resolved and an apology from Associated Newspapers was read to be read in court.
This report, the apology stated, was illustrated by a photograph of Aidan Cosgrave present as a friend of Gerry Ryan as a mourner at the funeral and who was said, in both articles, to be a convicted drug dealer.
"Mr Cosgrave is not a convicted drug dealer and has never dealt in drugs," the apology stated.
"Further, any suggestion from our reports that Mr Cosgrave had supplied cocaine to Gerry Ryan that might have contributed to his death or otherwise is wholly unfounded.
"We unreservedly apologise to Mr Cosgrave for the injury to his reputation and for the distress and embarrassment caused to him," the apology stated.
Mr Justice deValera was told the case could be struck out.
In the proceedings, it was claimed Mr Cosgrave was a close personal friend of the late RTE broadcaster and he was deeply distressed at his untimely death and had attended the funeral as a mourner.
(via Roy Greenslade)