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Chairman says Kerry GAA will take legal action if any player or official is defamed on social media

Chairman Patrick O’Sullivan says a solicitor has been instructed to act on Kerry GAA’s behalf if any player or official is defamed on social media

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Kerry GAA chairman Patrick O'Sullivan

Kerry GAA chairman Patrick O'Sullivan

Kerry GAA chairman Patrick O'Sullivan

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Kerry GAA will take legal action against any person who is believed to have defamed the association at county level or any individual within Kerry GAA.

Addressing club delegates at annual convention in Tralee on Tuesday evening, Patrick O’Sullivan said that Kerry GAA have asked a local solicitor, who is well versed in the law around social media commentary and the laws of defamation, to act on the association’s behalf if any individual attempts to bring down the good name of Kerry GAA, the Kerry players and officials.

"Smart phones are everywhere. In the aftermath of the All Ireland Final, during the team celebrations, harmless photos and videos were taken but on one occasion certain remarks were made regarding drugs. Behind those remarks were faceless people on fake accounts. Daniel O’Connell, a Castleisland solicitor who has a degree in social media, policed the social media channels on our behalf and it is our intention to take action against anyone who attempts to bring our good name down,” Mr O’Sullivan said in his address.

The chairman was referring to a WhatsApp video that was shared widely in the days after the All-Ireland Final win against Galway when some of the Kerry footballers were celebrating the victory with the Sam Maguire Cup around the country. With some of the players singing a light-hearted song about the chairman, affectionately known as ‘The Bag’ some anonymous social media accounts tried to make a completely untrue connection between the players’ celebrations and illicit drug taking.

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Shortly after the WhatsApp video was being circulated in late July and commented upon, Mr O'Sullivan tweeted: "They [players] were chanting my name as I lost in card roulette. It’s a joke to suggest the Kerry players are on drugs and is unacceptable.”

Another Kerry GAA source, who did not wish to be named, told The Kerryman at the time that he was present on the night the video was taken. He dismissed as ‘total rubbish’ claims of drug taking, saying team management were present, and the premises was full of people enjoying themselves. There were also security cameras in the establishment.

"This is all total rubbish. The people who spread these rumours have false [Twitter] accounts. At the end of the day, these culprits tried to personalise one player more than any other player. This is about protecting the players who have been wrongfully treated here,” he said.

Meanwhile, at this evening’s Convention Tommy Cronin was elected to the position of Assistant Secretary, defeating Sinead Pigott by 127 votes to 117.

In the contest to be the next Assistant Treasurer, Paudie Healy defeated Pat McAuliffe by 183 votes to 61.

Tomás Ó hAinifein is the new Cultural Officer after seeing off the challenge of Suzanne Ní Laoire by 178 votes to 66.

The new Munster Council delegates are out-going hurling officer Paudie Dineen and out-going Planning and Training officer Terence Houlihan, who replace John O’Leary and Ger McCarthy. The former East Kerry Board chairman Tim Ryan lost out in the three-way contest.

Meanwhile, David Clifford was nominated by the East Kerry Board to be the captain of the Kerry senior footballers for 2023.


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