RTE may face €250k bill for legal costs after Kevin Myers case

RTE is facing up to €250,000 in settlement and legal costs for the defamation of Kevin Myers.

The Sunday Independent can reveal today that the national public service broadcaster has settled its case against Mr Myers, paying the journalist a six figure sum.

Although both sides have refused to comment about the settlement, the former Sunday Times journalist said this weekend that RTE displayed “wanton disregard” for its finances in difficult times.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Mr Myers said: “RTE has shown a wanton disregard for their resources in difficult times.

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“Had they offered a settlement two years ago they could have [settled] without any damages if they had just made a full and complete retraction of the lies about me.”

If that had happened, he said, “the chances are I would not have insisted on damages. But instead they opposed any reconciliation, any settlement for two years, and they insisted they were going to call me a ‘holocaust denier’ even though they knew that I wasn’t.”

On his legal battle with RTE, Mr Myers says: “RTE had the resources of the State behind them and I had nothing. Only my life savings and my pension fund and my home.”

He says he believes the station felt “they could outspend me and win”.

On the huge personal financial gamble he took, he said: “I was going to have to take the chance of going before a jury and – if I had lost – it could have cost me a million euro so that was the risk I was taking but I had to take it to prevent other people traducing my good name.”

Mr Myers’s comments come after RTE issued an on-air apology to the journalist in November as part of the out of court settlement.

He launched a defamation suit against the station after it described him as a ”holocaust denier” during a broadcast on its flagship news and current affairs show Morning Ireland in July, 2017.

As part of the undisclosed settlement, newsreader Bryan Dobson read out the apology just before the 9am news on Morning Ireland.

He stated: “Morning Ireland introduced an item that suggested that Kevin Myers was a holocaust denier. This was untrue and defamatory of Mr Myers’s character.

“Morning Ireland acknowledges that Mr Myers has, for over three decades, repeatedly testified to the scale and wickedness of Hitler’s Final Solution.

“Morning Ireland acknowledges the damage done to Mr Myers’s reputation. We regret this and unreservedly apologise.”

Following the settlement, a statement from Mr Myers’s solicitor Eamonn Denieffe said: “We wish to confirm that a satisfactory settlement has been reached with RTE in relation to a broadcast on Morning Ireland on July 31, 2017.”

Mr Myers and RTE both declined to comment on the financial settlement.

In addition RTÉ said it had no comment to make regarding claims made by Kevin Myers in relation to RTÉ.

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