Associated Newspapers who published Ireland on Sunday national newspaper have issued an apology to former Superintendent Kevin Lennon at a special sitting of Carrick-on-Shannon Circuit Court, yesterday, December 11. The article related to a period while Mr Lennon was a garda Inspector in Letterkenny.
The special sitting heard the libel action had been “resolved” and there was “no further order needed.”
An apology on behalf of Associated Newspapers was read out which said, “On March 9th 2003 Ireland on Sunday reported on civil proceedings against the State in which a claim was made that Superintendent Kevin Lennon had an affair with Josephine Jackson.” Mr Lennon had at all times denied the allegation and the publication said in court “We accept this.”
The apology went on to say, “We did not intend to suggest that Mr Lennon had such an affair. We unreservedly withdraw any such suggestion. We wish to apologise to Mr Lennon and regret the distress the article caused to him and his family.”
In an e-mailed statement via his solicitors to the Donegal Democrat following the case, Mr Lennon said “The offending article as published was not alone an attack on me personally, but also on my wife and children and our extended family.
“No words can express the sheer devastation that this false circulation had upon my wife and children.
“The newspaper Ireland on Sunday were made well aware that the story had no truth prior to its publication. Nevertheless, they proceeded with their publication and have sought over nine years to defend it.”
Mr Lennon said Ireland on Sunday used “gutter journalism” and attacked him and his family.
“I am happy to have had the opportunity despite the delay involved to have corrected this untruth published about me. However, I have never had an opportunity to, in any meaningful way, defend or vindicate the very serious allegations and findings against me as a former member of An Garda Siochana.
“There are very fundamental and serious issues which have never been investigated and which should be properly and fully investigated in the public interest involving still serving members of An Garda Siochana.
“The public have been conditioned by events and I have been scapegoated in a very deliberate fashion.
“I will continue to fight as best I can to vindicate and correct incorrect findings made against me,” he stated.
Mr Lennon thanked his wife, children family and friends for “their unbending loyalty and support.”
He said he owes “a debt of gratitude” to his legal team John McNulty and Barrister Keith O’Grady of Kevin P. Kilrane & Co.