Tuesday 23 October 2018

Arrest of Donegal local election candidate ordered

Aodhan O'Faolain

THE High Court has ordered the arrest of a candidate in this month's local elections over her failure to remove allegedly defamatory posts about a town council on YouTube.

Today Mr Justice Paul Gilligan ordered that independent candidate Patricia McCafferty, who is seeking election to Donegal County  Council, be arrested and brought before the High Court for alleged contempt in the face of orders directing her to remove the video clips.


The orders were sought by lawyers for Bundoran Town Council which claims its members  and officials have been defamed in the posts where allegations of corruption, fraud, and intimidation are made by Ms Cafferty, a former traffic warden who was dismissed in 2008 by the council.


The court heard the YouTube clips are entitled "What Bundoran  Town Clerk is really like" and "Bundoran Joint Policing SHAM cover up assaults and quash speeding fine".  It is claimed they are highly defamatory.


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


The signs have been removed since the court orders were obtained.


However, she has failed to remove the YouTube material.


Ms  McCafferty was not present in court.


The court was told that in addition to the posts and the signs, Ms McCafferty had followed and filmed ordinary council workers going about Bundoran doing various work.


She also turned up at council meetings and had to be asked to stop video recording the proceedings.


Last year, the council obtained injunctions against Ms McCafferty, preventing her publishing allegedly defamatory material after she turned up at council meetings wearing a high visibility jacket with "Bundoran Town Council are Corrupt" written on it along with pictures of eight of the nine town councillors.


Yesterday, Mr Justice Gilligan said he was satisfied Ms McCafferty had breached the court orders.


He directed that she be arrested and brought before the court next Tuesday.

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