Dana receives apology and to receive 'six-figure sum' from Daily Mail publisher

An apology was also read out at the High Court in Belfast. Credit: UTV

Eurovision Song Contest winner Dana Rosemary Scallon is to receive a “six-figure sum” in libel damages over false newspaper allegations about her brother’s criminal trial.

An apology was also read out at the High Court in Belfast as part of a settlement in her defamation action against the publishers of The Daily Mail. 

The payout covers proceedings that the singer and politician issued in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

In 2014 Ms Scallon’s brother, John Brown, was unanimously acquitted of historic child sex abuse charges.

She sued over the contents of an online press report on his trial.

Separate claims brought in Dublin against Associated Newspapers, and in Belfast against DMG Media Ltd trading as the dailymail.co.uk have now been resolved.

Ms Scallon’s barrister, Peter Girvan, confirmed: “The parties have reached a settlement which involves the payment of an agreed, undisclosed six-figure sum, together with costs.”

As part of the agreed terms an apology was also read out on behalf of the defendants.

It stated: “On July 10 2014 the headline of a report of the opening speech by the prosecution in proceedings for sexual offences against John Brown, the brother of the politician and recording artist Dana Rosemary Scallon, may have suggested that the accused was guilty of the charges and Dana knew of his offences.

“In fact, we are happy to make clear that this allegation was found to be false.

“Mr Brown was unanimously acquitted by a jury, and we apologise to Dana and her family for any contrary impression given.”

Ms Scallon first achieved fame after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1970 with All Kinds Of Everything.

Born in London to a Northern Irish family, she went into politics in 1997 and served as an MEP for Connacht-Ulster.

She also twice stood unsuccessfully as an independent candidate in the Republic's presidential elections.

Ms Scallon did not attend court for the announcement, but in a statement following the settlement she said: “I am both relieved and very happy to obtain yet further vindication on my position.”

The singer, who has taken a series of successful libel actions, added: “I should never have been put in this position of having to litigate against so many different media outlets.

“Serious, false allegations were also made in court reporting when I stood up for my brother in his battle to defend himself against the outrageous allegations made against him.

“This particular case took nine years to conclude. No-one should ever be put in this position.” 

Her lawyers also pointed out that Mr Brown has also received undisclosed sums in his own libel actions.

Solicitor Kevin Winters of KRW Law, said: “This is the penultimate defamation action to settle in a very long list of cases issued by Dana.

“They all arose in the aftermath of her brother’s successful acquittal on unfounded allegations of historic abuse.”

Mr Winters added: “At times it has been a grueling journey for her and her family.

”She is very pleased to see the latest endorsement of her good name and impeccable reputation.”

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