McManus to sue Facebook over profiles

MULTI-MILLIONAIRE businessman and racehorse- owner JP McManus is to bring High Court proceedings against Facebook over the social networking website’s alleged failure to take down a number of profiles purporting to be those of the Co Limerick native.

Lawyers acting for Mr McManus, known for his sporting interests and charity work, were yesterday granted permission by the High Court to bring proceedings against Facebook Ireland due to its alleged failure to take down three Facebook profiles.

The Facebook profiles at the centre of the proceedings state they are “JP McManus” and contain photos of him. Facebook has more than 600 million users worldwide.

Ms Justice Mary Laffoy granted Mr McManus short service, on an ex parte basis, to bring a motion seeking injunctions restraining Facebook from maintaining, facilitating or publishing the Facebook accounts and to take steps to close down and remove the accounts.

Mr McManus, aged 60, is also seeking declarations including that Facebook’s alleged failure to remove the accounts identified is an unlawful breach of his constitutional rights. He is also seeking a declaration from the court that the continued processing of personal data by maintaining the sites is a breach of the 1988 Data Protection Act.

Mr McManus is also seeking damages for defamation, malicious falsehood, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligence and breaches of his constitutional rights.

Paul Gallagher, for Mr McManus, told the court that solicitors acting on behalf of his client had corresponded with Facebook in an attempt to have the sites taken down.

He said they had followed all the various steps asked of them in order to have the sites shut down.

However, this month Mr McManus’s lawyers were told by Facebook to go back to the start of the process and as a result the profiles remained.

The judge made the matter returnable to Monday.


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