Sunday 21 January 2018

'Tweetgate' judgment expected soon

Sean Gallagher Photo: David Conachy
Sean Gallagher Photo: David Conachy
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

A ruling is expected in the coming weeks on a High Court application by RTÉ seeking the dismissal of presidential election candidate Sean Gallagher's action against the State broadcaster.

The businessman initiated proceedings arising from the so-called 'Tweetgate' controversy at the height of the election campaign in 2011.

The Independent candidate had been topping opinion polls at the time, but his support declined and he lost out to Labour's Michael D Higgins.

The fifth anniversary of Mr Higgins' inauguration is next Friday.

Mr Gallagher is seeking a declaration that a presidential candidate debate on RTÉ's 'The Frontline' was not objective, impartial, or fair to his interests. He is also seeking damages for alleged breach of statutory duty and negligence.

The complaint centres around the reading out by presenter Pat Kenny of a fake tweet incorrectly attributed to an official account of Sinn Féin candidate Martin McGuinness.

The tweet said Mr McGuinness would be presenting a man at a press conference the following day who would claim Mr Gallagher collected a €5,000 donation from him for Fianna Fáil.

Last April, Mr Justice David Keane reserved judgment on the RTÉ application for the dismissal of the action. His ruling is expected shortly.

Irish Independent

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