Tuesday 16 July 2019

Garda wants YouTube to remove 'defamatory' video of public arrest


Tim Healy

A garda wants the High Court to order internet giant Google to take down a YouTube video with a commentary which he claims is false, malicious and defamatory.

The garda, who can't be identified for legal reasons, says he features in the more than three-minute-long video which was taken at a public order incident in 2016 when he and others made an arrest.

He says in the commentary on the video he is wrongly accused of kicking a minor in the head. The audio does not reflect the images displayed in the video, he claims.

The commentary also wrongly accuses him of having "assaulted that young fella", that he is "after kickin the head off him" and the garda has been "boot'n him".

The statements on the video, he says, are unfounded and without substance.

He was informed of the video by several of his colleagues after it was posted. He says it received almost 40,000 views and the website had dozens of comments.

His solicitor attempted to make contact with the person who posted the video clip on YouTube, calling for it to be taken down. However, his solicitor was unable to determine the identity of the poster or what that person's address is.

The solicitor then wrote to YouTube, which is owned by Google, demanding the video be taken down. When the video remained published on the website, the garda initiated High Court proceedings against the internet firms.

The garda, who is based in Dublin, seeks various orders including an injunction restraining YouTube LLC and Google Ireland Ltd from refusing to remove the video with immediate effect.

He also seeks orders directing the defendants to deliver the identity of the person who posted the video, and all other relevant contact information and details within its power and control.

He seeks a prohibition on the defendants from allowing any further postings by the person who put up the video.

The garda previously obtained a temporary court order directing that the video be taken down. This was dealt with by an undertaking from the defendants to do so.

However, the garda's lawyers claimed that it is still technically possible to view the video.

Mr Justice Tony O'Connor adjourned the case to January to allow the sides to prepare further legal submissions.

Irish Independent

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