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Ex-worker secures injunction over social media posts

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A former sales manager with a pet food supplier has secured a temporary High Court injunction requiring his ex-employers to stop publishing allegedly defamatory statements about him.

The orders were secured by Gerard Flannery, who had been the sales manager in the Republic for Northern Ireland-based Nutts About Pets Ltd and a related firm, Speedritedog Food Limited.

On December 7 last, he claims he was summarily dismissed without any prior notice.

A week later, statements were posted on Nutts About Pets Ltd website and Facebook page.

The company statements refer to "misleading rumours and speculation" regarding Mr Flannery's dismissal and that Nutts About Pets would "like to set the record straight".

The statements add Mr Flannery was sacked after "a lengthy investigation [about] financial irregularities" within the office where he worked.

Margaret Nerny SC, for Mr Flannery, told the High Court yesterday the statements are "defamatory" of her client, who had worked very hard on behalf of the company.

Destroy

Mr Flannery claims the statements are an attempt to destroy his reputation in order to distract from the defendant's own financial irregularities and shortcomings.

Counsel said her client was well known in the greyhound sector, had increased product sales and earned a promotion during his tenure.

Counsel said matters had been exacerbated several days after the statements were published when readers of the web pages were asked to "share this post".

As a result of the publications Mr Flannery from Ballinakill, Eyrecourt, Co Galway, secured an injunction against the two companies and the firm's owner Mr Basil Thompson.

They require the defendants to remove and delete the company statement posted on both the Nutts About Pets website and Facebook pages on December 13 last.

The orders also require the defendants to remove and delete a post made on December 23 entitled "please share this post" in regards to the statement posted on the sites December 13.

The injunction was granted on an ex parte basis.

Irish Independent