Wednesday 21 February 2018

Restaurant association boss faces legal threat for 'defamatory tweets'

Restaurants Association of Ireland CEO Adrian Cummins Picture: Paul Sherwood
Restaurants Association of Ireland CEO Adrian Cummins Picture: Paul Sherwood

Ryan Nugent

Dublin Town has threatened legal action against the head of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) over a series of allegedly "defamatory tweets" that were said to have been published.

In a letter addressed to the RAI's Adrian Cummins - and seen by the Irish Independent - legal representatives for Dublin Town said a number of tweets published by Mr Cummins in recent weeks were allegedly "calculated to damage our client".

The solicitor listed four tweets published by Mr Cummins which questioned the BIDS committee, and provided responses to all four.

The tweets are understood to have been deleted prior to the issuing of the legal letter.

It added that if Mr Cummins proceeded to make any further allegedly "defamatory comments" that it will take legal action without warning.

Dublin Town operates under the name Dublin City Centre Bid Company Ltd, and charges a levy to all businesses that partake in its scheme in Dublin city centre.

This levy, which is 5pc on top of rates paid by businesses to Dublin City Council, is in order to promote areas and make them more attractive to visit.

Further in the letter to Mr Cummins, legal representatives for Dublin Town said that their client had a position of responsibility to levy payers.

"This responsibility is due primarily to the levy payers in the Dublin city centre business improvement district," the letter read.

The letter goes on to allege that "The series of tweets you engaged in on Friday evening/ Saturday morning was clearly calculated to damage our client and create a negative impression of our client without foundation.

"Our client instructs that any further comments, made by you, which it views as defamatory, will result in our client instituting proceedings against you without warning and our client will rely on the content of this letter to fix you with the costs of said proceedings," it added.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr Cummins said he felt there was an attempt to prevent him from expressing his opinions.

He also said that the letter will not prevent him from representing his members appropriately.

"The first thing to say is that they've tried to put a gagging order around me personally," Mr Cummins said.

"Of course I'm annoyed about it and it is very threatening towards me," he added.

Mr Cummins has said that while he has not yet responded to the letter, he intends on doing so.

Dublin Town was contacted by the Irish Independent, but declined to comment.

Irish Independent

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