KRW law firm resolves libel action over newspaper report about ‘Hooded Men'

Belfast solicitor Kevin Winters. Picture by Mal McCann  
Belfast solicitor Kevin Winters. Picture by Mal McCann   Belfast solicitor Kevin Winters. Picture by Mal McCann  

A TOP Northern Ireland law firm has resolved its libel action over a press report about the so-called Hooded Men.

KRW Law sued The Sunday Times' publishers following an article which referred to the legal representatives of a group of men allegedly interned and tortured 45 years ago.

Two high-profile solicitors in the firm, Kevin Winters and Darragh Mackin, also issued writs.

Up to 25 witnesses were due to give evidence during a two-week jury trial due to get under way at the High Court in Belfast on Monday.

But Mr Justice Stephens was told a confidential resolution has been reached between the parties.

The law firm and its solicitors were awarded their costs under the terms agreed.

Due to legal reasons only limited details of the case can be reported.

KRW Law is representing many of the Hooded Men involved in ongoing attempts to secure a full inquiry into their interrogation and treatment by the British Army in 1971.

The firm's libel proceedings centred on an article published in the Sunday Times in December 2014.

Among the witnesses prepared to attend and give evidence on its behalf were Seamus Mallon, the former Deputy First Minister and senior SDLP politician, and historian Dr Éamon Phoenix.

Jane Winter, director of British Irish Rights Watch before her retirement, and members of the legal profession were also set to testify.

None of them were called to the stand, however, due to the resolution announced in court.

Mr Winters and Mr Mackin were present with colleagues for the confirmation.

Outside court Mr Winters said: "We are very happy with the outcome and that the action has been resolved.

"We are further satisfied that the defendant has consented to an order being made to pay all of our legal costs."