Sunday 21 January 2018

Mayor secures injunction directing Twitter to remove 'false and grossly defamatory' tweets

Tim Healy

The Mayor of Waterford has secured an injunction directing Twitter to take down tweets which he says are false and grossly defamatory.

Last Saturday, Fine Gael Councillor John Cummins secured temporary High Court injunctions against Twitter International  arising out of what he says are utterly baseless allegations posted about him.

The interim injunctions directed Twitter to remove tweets concerning Cllr Cummins and the matter was back before the court yesterday.

The court had also granted injunctions restraining Twitter from publishing or disseminating any further defamatory tweets about him on its websites or platforms.

In an affidavit, Cllr Cummins said he commenced his High Court action because the tweets have the potential to cause irreparable damage and could destroy his career.

He was shocked by the allegations and had reported the matter to the gardai.

The false comments have been removed by the person he says made them in the tweets.

However he does not know the extent the tweets have been re-tweeted or further disseminated.

Today, when the matter returned before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan, the court made an order under Section 33 of the 2009 Defamation Act that the contents of the posts about Cllr Cummins cannot be published.

The court can only make such an order if it is of the belief the statements complained of are defamatory and defendant has no defence to the action that is reasonably likely to succeed.

The judge adjourned the matter to next week.

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