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96FM apologises for claiming minister used teenager's death for publicity

Kathleen Lynch has been paid undisclosed damages.

Updated 12.44pm

CORK’S 96FM HAS apologised and paid undisclosed damages to Kathleen Lynch after a DJ at the station said she used the death of Donal Walsh to get publicity.

On 13 May 2013, former presenter Neil Prendeville suggested the junior health minister only commented on the teenager’s death for personal gain.

Lynch launched High Court proceedings against the station following the remarks.

Donal died on 12 May 2013, after a long battle with cancer. He was just 16 years old.

The teenager was an inspirational anti-suicide campaigner, and made a video ‘LiveLife’ with the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention.

Source: HSE Ireland/YouTube

In a statement released on its website, 96FM said it acknowledged Prendeville’s comments were “wrong and untrue”.

The station also said it accepted that the Labour TD had worked with the Kerry teenager and his family “in her official capacity as Minister for State for Mental Health in order to help bring about suicide awareness and prevention”.

16/12/2014. HSE National Summits on Social Care Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Prendeville and his production team have since left 96FM for Red FM.

TheJournal.ie has contacted Lynch for comment.

Originally published 9.58am

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Órla Ryan

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