IN OUR 21st July 2006 edition we published an article entitled “Cardinal’s top aide forced out after abortion revelation” in which we repeated allegations, first published in the Daily Mail, that Dr Austen Ivereigh, then public affairs director to the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, had abandoned two pregnant ex-girlfriends and forced one to have an abortion.
At the conclusion of highcourt proceedings brought in January by Dr Ivereigh against Associated Newspapers Limited, publishers of the Daily Mail, a unanimous jury found these libellous allegations to be untrue. The newspaper was ordered to pay substantial damages to Dr Ivereigh as well as his legal costs.
We regret our error in repeating these allegations without allowing Dr Ivereigh to correct them either before or after publication, leaving him with little choice but to begin legal proceedings against The Catholic Herald also. We have agreed to pay Dr Ivereigh damages and his legal costs, and we apologise for the damage to his reputation and distress which we occasioned him.