Friday 15 December 2017

Student in YouTube taxi row facing €1m legal costs

Eoin McKeogh outside the High Court
Eoin McKeogh outside the High Court

Tim Healy

A STUDENT who went to court to permanently remove an internet video clip falsely accusing him of taxi fare evasion is facing a legal bill believed to be over €1m.

Eoin McKeogh yesterday told a High Court judge: "I am a student of no means."

He told Mr Justice Paul Gilligan he thought he would have to pay his legal costs at the end of the proceedings which began two years ago and are still ongoing.

He represented himself in court yesterday.

Solicitor Paul Lambert, of Merrion Legal Solicitors, Sir John Rogersons Quay, Dublin, who represented Mr McKeogh at the start of his injunction proceedings, wants his bill of costs to be submitted for taxation but the court heard Mr McKeogh would not sign a form to allow that to happen.

The Taxing Master decides on legal costs and the final bill to be paid.

Counsel for Mr Lambert, Ronan Lupton, said the bill was "rather large".

He said the nature of the action meant there were significant legal costs involved.

In May last year, Mr Justice Micheal Peart made the order in the case brought by Eoin McKeogh (23), a DCU student, against YouTube, Google, Facebook and a number of websites over the video and accompanying material which wrongly identified Mr McKeogh as a man leaving a taxi without paying the fare.

Mr McKeogh, a student of Japanese and business, sought a mandatory injunction requiring the internet companies to permanently remove the video and other material having previously got a temporary order preventing its republishing.

Mr Justice Peart ordered that experts for Mr McKeogh meet with experts for the internet companies on how to go about taking down the material permanently on a worldwide basis.

The judge previously found Mr McKeogh was grossly defamed in the video because he was incontrovertibly not the person in it and was in fact in Japan at the time.

An appeal was later lodged against the the High Court decision. Last December, Mr Justice Peart said he would grant a stay, pending appeal.

The interim orders preventing republishing of the clip must remain in place until the appeal is heard, the judge ordered.

A full hearing of Mr Kehoe's High Court action for damages and other orders arising from the clips, which was initiated in January 2012, remains on hold pending the appeals.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Gilligan said the court must have more information on the matter and instructed both sides to file affidavits.

The case was adjourned until October.

Irish Independent

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