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Ex-TD sues Facebook and Twitter over posts about his marriage separation

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Frank O'Rourke served as a Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North. Photo: Tom Burke

Frank O'Rourke served as a Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North. Photo: Tom Burke

Frank O'Rourke served as a Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North. Photo: Tom Burke

A former Fianna Fáil TD is suing social networks Facebook and Twitter.

Frank O’Rourke, who was a Kildare North TD between 2016 and 2020, is taking a High Court action against both of the internet giants.

Mr O’Rourke has not commented on why he is taking legal action. After he lost his seat in January’s general election, the politician told local media “social media bullies” had set up fake accounts about him on both platforms.

The first-time TD had been expected to keep his seat in January’s poll but ultimately lost and was eliminated after the sixth and final count. High Court papers for two separate cases Mr O’Rourke is taking against Twitter and Facebook were filed on Wednesday, November 11.

Speaking to the Liffey Champion after his electoral defeat this year, Mr O’Rourke said fake accounts had posted claims about the breakdown of his marriage and his relationship with his daughter. He told the newspaper “people went out and they told lies about my separation”.

“Those faceless people who put up a false account over the last two weeks, they are now going to be the subject of an investigation and that information will be given to my solicitor and will be followed through legally,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“Because those comments are untrue, they are false.”

He said stories about him published on social media were “100pc untrue”.

“What I am saying is true and what was put up on social media was false, put up by faceless people operating faceless accounts. We have to accept that when we are in the public eye we are a victim and a target, but nevertheless they will be pursued and they will be found and appropriate action I hope will be taken,” he said.

Mr O’Rourke first ran for the Dáil in 2016 and served for Kildare North for four years. Micheál Martin appointed him junior spokesperson on financial services, eGovernment & Procurement.

He was first co-opted to Kildare County Council in 2011, and ran in the 2014 local elections topping the poll in the Celbridge-Leixlip area.

Mr O’Rourke, who is originally from Leitrim, has been living in Celbridge for over 20 years.

He is now working as the project manager for the revived €10m Naas Shopping Centre, a project which was initially started 15 years ago before being abandoned.

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) recently sold the project to the Roche Group, led by local Kildare businessman Ger Roche.

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