Second Gerry Kelly libel case settled

Gerry Kelly
Gerry Kelly [Getty Images]

A case against a second journalist sued by Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has been settled.

Ruth Dudley Edwards wrote in a newspaper article that Mr Kelly had shot a prison officer as he escaped the Maze prison more than 40 years ago.

It was confirmed on Friday that a settlement had been reached between the parties.

It is the second time Gerry Kelly has sued a journalist in a libel case.

In January Mr Kelly sued Malachi O'Doherty but the case was thrown out.

The High Court described that case as "scandalous, frivolous and vexatious".

Mr Kelly had sought damages over two radio interviews given by Dr O'Doherty, in which he also stated Mr Kelly had shot a prison officer during the Maze escape in 1983.

Mr Kelly was one of 38 IRA prisoners who escaped from the Maze prison near Lisburn.

During the break-out, prison officer John Adams was shot in the head.

Mr Kelly has never admitted shooting him and was found not guilty at a trial in 1987.

Mr Kelly had claimed Dr O'Doherty's comments, made in 2019, had gravely damaged his reputation and brought his standing as an MLA into disrepute.

However, Dr O'Doherty pointed out that the prison officer had claimed Mr Kelly fired the shot.

He also argued there was no damage to Mr Kelly's reputation, as he had served prison sentences for the 1973 Old Bailey bombings and he is someone publicly identified as a former IRA member.