RYANAIR has secured a High Court order compelling Eircom to disclose the identities of two anonymous parties who have been making posts about it on a pilot's website which the airline says is 'highly defamatory'.
The airline claims the allegedly false material has been posted on the PPRuNe website, known as the Professional Pilots Rumour Network, by two anonymous parties using the pseudonyms ASFKAP and 'Built4Speed' that impugns Ryanair's excellent safety record.
Ryanair sought the orders because it intends to sue the two parties, who investigations undertaken on the airline's behalf have IP
address- the individual number assigned to each device that uses the internet - from the Eircom pool of subscribers, in order to vindicate it's good name.
The orders were granted yesterday by Mr Justice Paul Gilligan.
Under the terms of the orders obtained Eircom must disclose to Ryanair all information, excluding e mails, which assists in identifying the parties assigned the IP addresses where the allegedly defamatory posts came from.
The disclosure of the IP address relates only to the relevant time, date and time zones of the allegedly defamatory posts.
In an affidavit to the Court Ryanairs Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs and Company Secretary Juliusz Komorek said a number of posts published about the airline by the two parties have caused it serious concern.
The court heard that some of the statements posted on the website by ASFKAP within the last two years include "Can we not have a separate forum for Ryanair narrow escapes near misses airworthiness incidents and bullying and harassment issues? They are coming so thick and fast now its is hard to keep up with them all"
"It would certainly make it a lot easier for the lawyers to go back and see the writing on the wall and the warning signs that went unheeded in the somewhat inevitable event that a Ryanair pilot eventually runs out of fuel and /or luck"
Statements from Built4Speed include "its amazing to see the number of Ryanair Pilots predicting crash are increasing rapidly......The aircraft are new, they better stay that way that seems to be the reason nobody has died yet. Crash imminent."
Mr Komerack said that while Ryanair has no objection to honest and objective comment it has been left with "no option other to take action concerning these false and defamatory statements given what they have said about the company's "excellent safety record."
Brendan Kirwan Bl for Ryanair told the court that his client wants to sue the individuals behind the posts, however in order to do this it requires to know their identities.
The company had originally commenced proceedings in California where the PPRuNe website is registered. As part of that action Ryanair had engaged an expert who discovered that the two posters ASFKAP and 'Built4Speed' had IP addresses from Eircom's DSL/ADSL, counsel said.
Ryanair required a court order compelling Eircom to disclose to it the identities of the parties using the IP addresses in question. Eircom cannot in the absence of such an order provide that information, counsel added.
Counsel said that Ryanair was not suggesting any wrongdoing on the part of Eircom. Eircom neither consented nor objected to the airlines application. Ryanair also agreed to pay Eircom's legal costs in regards to the application.