Mayor wins court order against Twitter over ‘defamatory’ claims

The mayor of Waterford, Councillor John Cummins, has secured a High Court injunction directing Twitter to take down comments posted about him which the politician says are false and grossly defamatory.

The Fine Gael Cllr last Saturday secured temporary injunctions against Twitter International Company arising from what he described as “utterly baseless” allegations posted about him on Twitter.

The interim injunctions directed Twitter to remove tweets concerning Cllr Cummins and restrained it publishing or disseminating any further defamatory tweets concerning him.

In an affidavit, Cllr Cummins said he initiated the proceedings because the tweets had potential to cause irreparable damage and could destroy his career.

He said he was shocked by the material posted and had reported the matter to gardaí.

While the person who posted the false allegations had removed them, he did not know to what extent they had been re-tweeted or further disseminated, he said.

When the matter returned before the court yesterday, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan made an order under Section 33 of the 2009 Defamation Act that the material complained of cannot be published.

The court may only make such an order if it believes the statements complained of are defamatory and a defendant has no defence reasonably likely to succeed.

The judge has adjourned the matter to next week.

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