On October 24, 2017, The Mayo News published an article concerning the ongoing investigation hearing in Dublin by the Standards in Public Office Commission (SiPOC) into alleged contraventions of the Ethical Frameworks for the Local Government Service by Councillor Frank Durcan, Councillor Cyril Burke and Mr Peter Hynes, Chief Executive, of Mayo County Council. The article was also published online at www.mayonews.ie.
In that article a number of quotes were attributed to David Staunton, barrister, regarding his purported representation of Cllr Frank Durcan.
The Mayo News accepts fully that the article inaccurately reported that Mr Staunton was acting for Councillor Durcan. Mr Staunton is in fact a member of the legal team representing the Chief Executive of Mayo County Council and appears with Mr Michael McDowell SC, instructed by Michael Lanigan of Poe Kiely Hogan Lanigan solicitors.
Furthermore, Mr Staunton was not the subject matter of any comment or criticism by the Chairman, Mr Justice Daniel O’Keeffe and had been wrongly identified as being so. The Mayo News accepts unreservedly that the article’s reference to Mr Staunton constituted a failure on the part of the newspaper to meet acceptable standards in the reporting of the case.
The Mayo News acknowledges and apologises for the upset caused to Mr Staunton arising from the article and accepts fully that he acted professionally at all times during the representation of his client.