Nelson McCausland to pay compensation to ex-Sinn Fein MLA over ‘bigot’ comment

A former Sinn Fein MLA is to receive undisclosed compensation for being referred to as “a bigot” by an ex-DUP Assembly member, the High Court heard on Monday.

An apology and retraction was also read out to Rosie McCorley as part of the settlement reached in her defamation action against Nelson McCausland.

Nelson McCausland

Nelson McCausland

Ms McCorley, who represented West Belfast until she lost her Stormont seat in 2016, sued over comments made in a BBC Radio Ulster interview.

A judge was told on Monday that a confidential resolution has been reached in the case.

Under the terms of the settlement a statement was read out on behalf of Mr McCausland, who served as a DUP MLA for North Belfast for 14 years.

His barrister told the court: “The defendant apologises to the plaintiff for the words he used during an interview on Good Morning Ulster on BBC Radio Ulster on February 16, 2016 wherein he referred to the plaintiff as ‘a bigot’.

Rosie McCorley of Sinn Fein

Rosie McCorley of Sinn Fein

“The defendant retracts his comments in their entirety, and has agreed to pay compensation and the legal costs she has incurred in bringing this action to the plaintiff.”

No further details of the case were revealed.

Outside court, Ms McCorley’s lawyer, Nicholas Quinn of O’Muirigh Solicitors, said: “My client is relieved at the retraction of the defamatory words used, and that the matter can now be put behind her.”