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Sir Cliff Richard

There are two matters (at least) worth noting in Sir Cliff Richard’s deserved win in the English High court.

Firstly, it is heartening that a group of ordinary [women] citizens were sufficiently integrated as persons that they were immune to the effects of the smear attaching to Sir Cliff as a result of the disgraceful lynching of him by the BBC. Those citizens supported Sir Cliff by cheering for him outside the court on the delivery of the judgment.

Secondly, we in Ireland have seen something similar happen here. The similarity to the events in the UK at the house of Sir Cliff and, previously, in Ireland comes from one common feature; the actions of the police force in each jurisdiction.

The BBC clearly received advance notice of the planned raid on Sir Cliff’s house. That could only come from the UK police.

On 30th September 1996, in Dublin, the Garda Síochána executed a raid on the offices of Michael E. Hanahoe & Company, solicitors. In a subsequent High court action the court found as a probability that the Garda Síochána leaked the news of the impending raid to the Irish media. The Irish Times was to the fore in taking advantage of that leak and sent reporters and a photographer to cover the raid.

As it happened, the Dublin solicitors sued the Irish state rather than the Irish Times and were awarded substantial damages.

What the BBC should do now is identify the UK police officer(s) that leaked the information to them.