O'Dea's old foe threatens fellow councillor with legal action
Published 06/03/2010 | 05:00
THE politician who settled a defamation case against former minister Willie O'Dea has sent a solicitor's letter to a fellow councillor over comments published on Facebook, which he says are defamatory.
East Clare Fianna Fail councillor Cathal Crowe set up a page in support of his 'personal friend' Mr O'Dea, following his resignation last month.
Sinn Finn Councillor Maurice Quinlivan, whom Mr O'Dea wrongly associated with a brothel in Limerick, has sent a solicitor's letter to Mr Crowe warning of legal action if the site isn't policed properly.
"I have no problem with Cathal Crowe setting up a website and if wants to continue with his one-man Willie O'Dea fan club he can," he said.
"As everyone knows, I wasn't afraid to take on the minister and I am not afraid to take him on. He has been given fair warning," Mr Quinlivan said.
Mr Crowe has already removed several comments, which were highlighted in the solicitor's letter. However, Mr Quinlivan believes other posts on the site are also defamatory and damaging.
"He needs to police the site better. Posts on the site are clearly defamatory and I won't stand for that," the councillor warned.
Mr Crowe has confirmed that appropriate action has since been taken and he says he is hopeful that is the end of the matter.
The site 'Willie O'Dea, Ireland's hardest working TD, has our support' had almost 550 signed-up members yesterday.
Mr O'Dea is already the subject of 24 Facebook sites, some of which show support for the Limerick poll-topper.
One site, 'Bring back Willie O'Dea ye bastards' has over 700 members, while 800 people have signed up for 'Willie O'Dea for President'. However, a site called 'Limerick still supports Willie O'Dea' has just one member, the author.
Following claims by Mr O'Dea that he received information from a garda about Mr Quinlivan's alleged involvement in a brothel, Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy has appointed a chief superintendent from outside Limerick to investigate the matter.
Mr Crowe said: "The comments referred to in the solicitor's letter were removed and within the timeframe mentioned in the letter but I don't know why this solicitor's letter was directed at me.
"Facebook is a very highly traceable medium and if I was able to contact the people who made the offensive comments, so should Councillor Quinlivan.
"I have also posted the solicitor's letter on Facebook to ensure people are aware of their responsibilities."