Contempt of court fines for Irish editors

By Des Cryan in Dublin

The High Court in Dublin has fined two newspaper publishers and
their editors after they carried articles relating to the court
appearance of a father who had pleaded guilty to rape and the sexual
assault of four daughters.

The articles appeared after the man had pleaded guilty but before he
was sentenced. Both the Irish Independent and the Sunday World were
fined €20,000 (£13,800) while Independent editor Vincent Doyle and
Sunday World editor Colm MacGinty were fined €2,500 each.

The
director of public prosecutions had brought contempt proceedings in
relation to the case in April 2003 when the guilty plea had been
entered.

In June, the father was sentenced to 10 life sentences, to run concurrently.

The
High Court judge noted the apologies that had been given by the
newspapers and accepted that the articles were neither sensationalist
nor objectionable.

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