herald

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Facebook row student bids to gag newspapers

A DUBLIN student who took out an injunction against internet giants Facebook and Google has applied to the courts to prohibit six newspapers from identifying him.

Eoin McKeogh (22), who is studying international business and Japanese at DCU, earlier this week obtained injunctions against a number of internet parties, including Facebook and Google, prohibiting the re-broadcasting or republishing of the material which defames him by alleging he was guilty of taxi-fare evasion.

Mr McKeogh says he was not even in the country at the time of the alleged incident.

His lawyers have now applied for further orders prohibiting six national newspapers, including the Herald, from identifying him in relation to the court proceedings and from publishing anything which is defamatory of him.







Dispute

Some of the newspapers and Facebook dispute this and say there was no reporting restrictions imposed when the case was before the court.

The application was against Independent Newspapers, the Irish Times, the Examiner, the Star and the Sunday Times.

The court heard it was an attempt at a "super-injunction" which some celebrities obtained in England prohibiting publication of their identities in court cases. Mr Justice Michael Peart said he would hear Mr McKeogh's application this Saturday. His counsel, Pauline Walley, said she was asking that the newspapers not publish his identity pending a ruling on her application.

Rossa Fanning, for Facebook, said he had been in court when Mr McKeogh sought his injunction against the internet parties, and there had clearly been no application for what was effectively a "super-injunction".

If there had been he had no doubt it would fail, counsel said. Simon McAleese, solicitor for Independent Newspapers (Ireland) Ltd, publishers of the Herald and the Independent, and Shane English, for the Star and Examiner, said they would not be giving such an undertaking.

Andrew O'Rorke, for the Irish Times, said they should not be in the case because they had removed Mr McKeogh's name from the online and e-paper editions. Garret Simons, for the Sunday Times, said a super injunction was being sought against his client because, while there was no allegation that they had published anything, they intend to on Sunday.

There was no basis for this application, counsel said. Mr Justice Peart will deal with the matter tomorrow.

hnews@herald.ie

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