Friday 24 October 2014

Election candidate avoids jail sentence over YouTube posts

Tim Healy

Published 21/05/2014 | 02:30

Patricia McCafferty, of Main Street, Bundoran, Co. Donegal, pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday after a High Court action. Picture: Collins Courts
Patricia McCafferty, of Main Street, Bundoran, Co. Donegal, pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday after a High Court action. Picture: Collins Courts

A LOCAL election candidate alleged to have defamed a town council on the internet has avoided prison for contempt of court after agreeing to remove the material from YouTube.

Patricia McCafferty, who is running as an Independent for Donegal County Council, agreed in the High Court yesterday to remove the YouTube posts and cease distributing election literature which Bundoran Town Council claims is defamatory.

Ms McCafferty, who described herself as "a whistle blower" told the court that she would "under protest" comply with the court orders that she remove the material.

Last week, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan ordered that she be arrested and brought before the court to answer claims of contempt of orders directing her to remove the video clips.

In its action, the council claims its members and officials have been defamed in the YouTube posts in which allegations of corruption, fraud and intimidation are made by Ms McCafferty, a former traffic warden who was dismissed in 2008 by the council.

Orders were granted against Ms McCafferty, of Rockingham, Main Street, Bundoran, on May 1 last by the High Court directing her to remove the YouTube posts and also remove large signs in the town alleging members and officials in the town council are corrupt.

Ms McCafferty removed the signs and informed the judge that the posts complained of have also been removed.

As a result, the judge said he was satisfied the contempt issue was concluded and awarded the town council its legal costs against Ms McCafferty.

Irish Independent

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