Saturday 14 December 2019

Judge extends injunction directing Kevin Sharkey to remove tweet

Artist Kevin Sharkey
Artist Kevin Sharkey

Saurya Cherfi

A judge today has extended an injunction directing well known artist Kevin Sharkey to remove an allegedly defamatory comment posted on his Twitter account.

Last week Dublin Circuit Civil Court granted Garrett O’Mahony a temporary injunction directing Mr Sharkey to remove a comment allegedly posted on Twitter by Mr Sharkey calling Mr O'Mahony a racist.

In his legal proceedings Mr O'Mahony says the post is grossly defamatory of him. Mr Sharkey, the court heard, has stated in an email that the Twitter account the comment was posted on is a fake.

“The Twitter account you mention is not mine and never has been. There are 17 fake accounts on Twitter and Facebook all claiming to be me, however, they are not me. Regards, Kevin Sharkey (correct),” the email said.

Mr O’Mahony stated that he took “no comfort at all” from the email and its content.

Today, when the matter returned before the court, Judge Jacqueline Linnane ordered that the injunction directing Mr Sharkey, with an address in London, to remove the post, is to remain in place until the case has been decided or until further order.

The court heard Mr Sharkey had been served personally with legal documents compelling him to remove the post about Mr O’Mahony.

In an affidavit, Mr O’Mahony stated that his solicitors, Granville & Co, had then received the email from Mr Sharkey claiming the alleged comment had been written on a fake Twitter account.

Barrister Karl Sweeney said Mr O’Mahony, of Gortnadallagh, Kenmare, Co Kerry, had taken “investigative steps” to establish that the Twitter account in question belonged to Mr Sharkey.

Counsel said Mr Sharkey had not sworn an affidavit to support the assertion that the Twitter account was fake and had not entered an appearance to the proceedings initiated by Mr O’Mahony. 

He told Judge Linnane that the alleged comment had not yet been removed. As Mr Sharkey was not present nor legally represented in court today, his email was “of little comfort,” counsel said.

Previously the court heard that the proceedings arose after Mr O’Mahony replied to a comment posted on the artist’s alleged Twitter account about a picture published on the front page of a daily newspaper.

Mr Sweeney had told the court that Mr O’Mahony had then received a replying tweet which was “outrageous, completely out of context, deeply offensive and highly defamatory, calling him a racist.” 

Counsel said Mr O’Mahony’s account was public and contained around 1,300 followers. He said the tweet was highly detrimental to Mr O’Mahony’s character and credibility.

Irish Independent

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