Lanesboro priest secures defamation payout from RTE

The local priest who was defamed by RTE after it alleged that he sexual assaulted a young Kenyan girl, settled his defamation case against the national broadcaster – out of court – on Thursday for an undisclosed sum of money. The Leader understands however that the priest could have received as much as €1m after RTE admitted that it had in fact defamed his character in its broadcast ‘Mission to Prey’ which aired last May.

The local priest who was defamed by RTE after it alleged that he sexual assaulted a young Kenyan girl, settled his defamation case against the national broadcaster – out of court – on Thursday for an undisclosed sum of money. The Leader understands however that the priest could have received as much as €1m after RTE admitted that it had in fact defamed his character in its broadcast ‘Mission to Prey’ which aired last May.

Sixty five year old Lanseboro native Fr Kevin Reynolds, Parish Priest in Ahascragh, Co Galway always maintained his innocence in relation to the allegations made by RTE’s Prime Time and Morning Ireland programmes.

It was only after a paternity test proved Fr Reynolds’ innocence that RTE admitted that it erred gravely in relation to the broadcasts. The national broadcaster subsequently apologised “unreservedly” to the well respected priest who in turn took a defamation case to the High Court.

Speaking to the Leader last month, Fr Reynolds said that he had been “living a nightmare” since the RTE broadcasts and felt “overwhelmed” by the welcome that he received from his parishioners in Ahascragh when he was returned to the parish in October. “It has been a nightmare for sure,” he said, adding that he was “happy” to be back in Ahascragh. “I have been here for six years and the people have been so very good to me, I can’t thank them enough. I got tremendous support from my family and parishioners and that has been a wonderful source of strength for me.” More details in next week’s Longford Leader