This case was not about Defamation but Breach of Contract.
Yes we have to admit this was a bad day for those who would like to see Mike Meegan brought into the light over his role in Icross.
In 2010 we began to feature material concerning Meegan.
His doctorate from Galway?
Whether he actually had a medical degree?
The battle to take control of the funds that had flowed into Icross
following the documentary made by RTE.
Person of the year award.
The fact that well known people in Irish society who professionally comment on the undue influence of our political system on a regular basis, supported Meegan and would not distance themselves from his influence even though even after the full facts were clear has allowed his power and influence to continue?
If this type of influence can effect figures like John Paul II who were taken in by the founder of the Legionaires of Christ or the Dalai Lama by the founder of Aum it is not surprising that genuine people would retain a commitment to a charismatic figure like Meegan .
What about the guy who called me from London about Meegan’s request for him to work on his web site?
What I am trying to say is that this settlement is a side show. Yes an expensive one, but it will still be regarded in time as a small price to pay for the excellent journalism which brought a spotlight into this foggy NGO. What is a genuine humanitarian doing spending his time trying to extract cash from newspapers?
The reason I raise this is that on the same day as the Irish Mail published the article in question the Irish Examiner published it as well. So if defamation was involved why was the Irish Examiner not in court?
So let us understand what happened here.
CHARITY worker Michael Meegan was given a High Court apology yesterday over an article in the Irish Daily Mail containing allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
Mr Meegan, who was founder of a Third World charity, had sued Associated Newspapers (AN) as a result of an article which appeared on the front page of the paper on April 20, 2010.
Eoin McCullough SC, for AN, read an apology which stated the paper had published reports in relation to Mr Meegan which contained allegations of grave sexual misconduct on his part.
Note exactly the same as the Examiner reported. Why did Meegan go after the Irish Examiner they nearly had word for word the same report?
What is going on here? This sentence explains it:
“The newspaper ought not to have published these allegations and had agreed not to do so.”
This is an expensive cock up. We have Associated Newspapers with two Irish papers, The Irish Mail and The Irish Mail On Sunday.
However in regard to this story the lead was being taken by The Irish Mail On Sunday. They had sought to publish their in depth report but Meegan attempted to injunct The Irish Mail On Sunday.
Part of the legal process involved The Irish Mail On Sunday being the newspaper to be able to publish their findings. However, The Irish Mail published a more explicit commentary on Meegan. The Irish Mail On Sunday was the newspaper authorised by the court to publish the story. So even though it appears that Meegan is somehow exonerated, it has really nothing to do with the facts which were established by The Irish Mail On Sunday but rather a legal technicality that meant if The Irish Mail published it would have breached this contract. So even though the two newspapers were from the same stable they were regarded as separate legal entities and the protection provided to The Irish Mail On Sunday were not applied to The Irish Mail. Paul Drury gives a magisterial exposition of what was at stake.
Yes Mike Meegan was able to take the cash and run but all members of the media will I am sure nearly agree to produce a unified article which screams back at him yes you won, but the truth is out and you will receive no respect from the Irish people who you have conned. Take your money and go… but to where? Which charity does he represent and what will happen to the assets of this noble venture which thousands of people believed in? Likely a decision will be made in a small room by the Charity Commissioners. However, who will be assisting those for whom the money was intended?
Here you will find the evidence as preserved on our archive.
Filed under: Icross Charity |