SETTLED CASE Fine Gael TD Lucinda Creighton.
Minister Creighton apologises to developer
CLAREMORRIS-born Minister for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton, apologised to the developer, Mr Michael O’Flynn in a statement read out to the High Court last week. He claimed in a case he took that his reputation had been tarnished by Minister Creighton in speeches she delivered on Standards in Public Life and Accountability at the MacGill Summer School in July 2010. She made the comments after he attended a fundraising golf classic for Fine Gael at the K Club in County Kildare.
In a statement read on her behalf by her senior counsel, Mr Paul O’Higgins, to Justice Eamon de Valera and a jury of five women and seven men, she said: “I am happy to confirm that Michael O’Flynn is an upstanding developer and person who operates his business to the highest standards. He has not done any wrong and any suggestion to the contrary was not intended by me. I apologise to Mr O’Flynn and his family for any hurt and distress caused by my comments. I have agreed to pay a contribution towards his legal costs.”
Responding in a statement, Michael O’Flynn said: “I am very happy that the damage to my reputation caused by Ms Creighton’s very public comments in her speech at Glenties and her subsequent interviews with RTE and The Irish Times has been recognised in the court proceedings.”
“It is regrettable that I was compelled to bring these proceedings and I am delighted to have received an apology in open court from Ms Creighton,” he continued.
Mr O’Flynn welcomed the fact that she had agreed to make a substantial contribution to his legal costs and confirmed he would donate part of it to Crumlin Hospital Foundation.
Mr O’Flynn originally took the proceedings after Ms Creighton said there was no room in Fine Gael for ‘cute-hoor politics’ and, moreover, that Fine Gael in government must be ‘much more than Fianna Fáil lite’ and could not condemn Fianna Fáil for entertaining developers in the Galway Races tent while on the other hand extending the ‘biscuit tin for contributions from high-profile developers who are beholden to Nama’. Elaborating later in an RTE interview she expressed unhappiness at the fact that Mr O’Flynn had financially supported the Fine Gael golf classic a few days earlier at a time when he was one of the top ten indebted developers to Nama. Ms Creighton denied defamation and pleaded she was expressing an opinion honestly held.
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