Tuesday 20 August 2019

SF activist defamed Leo ally

Death threat: Fine Gael Councillor Ted Leddy also won damages. Picture: Collins
Death threat: Fine Gael Councillor Ted Leddy also won damages. Picture: Collins

Philip Ryan and Tim Healy

A Fine Gael councillor and constituency ally of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has received an "unreserved apology" and almost €20,000 from a Sinn Féin activist who defamed him in a Facebook post.

Cllr Ted Leddy (38), who holds the council seat in Castleknock once held by Mr Varadkar, settled a defamation action he took against Alan Donnelly over comments posted on the social media platform.

Mr Leddy told the court the defamatory post, arising out of the councillor's attendance at an event marking the Orange Order's 12th of July celebrations, led to him receiving several death threats.

Mr Donnelly is the brother of Sinn Féin councillor Paul Donnelly, who is running in next week's local elections.

Last night, Mr Leddy said the Sinn Fein activist's Facebook comments were "a chilling reminder of the power of social media".

He said it was "troubling" that he received "extreme vilification" online for appearing at an event which was also attended by murdered journalist Lyra McKee.

Mr Leddy appealed to Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald to condemn the comments of her party member and asked what action would be taken against Mr Donnelly.

Irish Independent

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