Saturday 17 March 2018

Google search results show me as a wife killer, says Fine Gael TD

Fine Gael TD Joe O'Reilly
Fine Gael TD Joe O'Reilly
A screen grab showing the result of a Google search for Joe O'Reilly.
Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

Fine Gael TD Joe O'Reilly said he was disgusted to learn that Google was using an image of a convicted wife murderer, who is his namesake, alongside his profile online.

Deputy O'Reilly said he raised this issue with the internet giant almost two years ago and yesterday revealed he was "disturbed" to learn the mistake had occurred again.

When the Cavan-Monaghan TD's name is typed in to the search engine, a "knowledge panel" is created about him on the results page. But, instead of displaying a picture of the 60-year-old politician, it displayed an image of the Joe O'Reilly who was convicted of murdering his wife Rachel 11 years ago.

"I found it in the past, and still find it, very disturbing, uncomfortable, unpleasant and it shouldn't be the case. It concerns me, it is a source of stress and unpleasantness," he said last night.

Deputy O'Reilly said he wrote to Google shortly after he was first made aware of the problem in November 2013 and engaged in their procedure process to rectify it, which it did. He also sought advice from a lawyer, but confirmed that he didn't take any legal action and received no compensation.

"We did not take legal action that time because we assumed the matter was resolved. I am very disappointed it is not," added the TD, who is away on business and has not decided his next move yet.

It is understood that Google corrected the problem shortly after it was made aware of it yesterday.

Irish Independent

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