Northern Ireland

Chris McGimpsey to pay £63K for remark about James McClean

James McClean plays for the Republic of Ireland and Stoke City Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Republic of Ireland and Stoke City player James McClean sued for defamation over the remark

An ex-councillor who described Irish footballer James McClean as a "super Provo" is to pay out £63,000 for the false remark, the High Court has heard.

The Republic of Ireland and Stoke City player took a defamation case against the former Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) councillor Chris McGimpsey.

Mr McGimpsey has already apologised for the remark he made on a live BBC show.

A previous hearing was told he did not intend to communicate a link between Mr McClean and the Provisional IRA.

The £63,000 settlement cover damages and the footballer's legal costs.

The judge was told the former Belfast City Council member will make the payment in two instalments.

'Completely inaccurate'

Mr McClean, 30, sued following Mr McGimpsey 's appearance on BBC Radio Ulster's Nolan Show in November 2018.

In an earlier hearing in the case, Mr McGimpsey issued an unreserved apology, saying the unfounded comment was made "in the heat of the moment" during a radio debate.

Image caption Chris McGimpsey previously issued a statement of apology to the court

The court was previously told that his remarks were then repeated on social media and became and the focus of public commentary.

A statement was read out on Mr McGimpsey's behalf at that stage, setting out how he had referred to the Derry-born winger as being a "super Provo".

In his statement, the former councillor accepted the remarks were false and completely inaccurate.

The case was then adjourned for discussions on the level of damages.

In court on Wednesday, counsel for Mr McClean confirmed that the footballer has accepted Mr McGimpsey's apology and had agreed the terms of the settlement.

Neither Mr McClean nor Mr McGimpsey were present for the hearing.

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