Student to appeal costs order in newspaper case

Friday 22 November 2013 14.58
Eoin McKeogh (c) was wrongly identified as the person in a video posted online
Eoin McKeogh (c) was wrongly identified as the person in a video posted online

A 23-year-old student, who was wrongly identified in an internet video about taxi fare evasion, is to appeal a court order that he is liable for costs in a case taken against six newspapers.

DCU business student Eoin McKeogh won his legal battle to have internet giants YouTube Google and Facebook remove the material.

But he lost a separate case taken to stop newspapers identifying him in court reports of the proceedings.

Costs of the action against the newspapers, which could run to a six figure sum, were awarded against him earlier this year.

A stay was placed on the order until 1 November last.

At the High Court this morning, his lawyer said he wanted to appeal the costs order to the Supreme Court and was requesting a further stay on the order.

Senior Counsel Pauline Walley said Mr McKeogh was in a special category of plaintiff whose case involved issues of public interest and importance.

While he was not appealing the outcome of the substantive case against the newspapers, he would be appealing the order for costs made against him.

Lawyers for the newspapers said it was "telling" that he had not appealed the decision in the case against the newspapers.

They objected to any further stay.

Solicitor for The Sunday Times Hugh Hannigan told the court the issue was now dating back almost two years and a hearing to determine costs had been set for next February.

However, Ms Walley said Mr McKeogh was in ongoing complex litigation with multinational companies and that was a lot for a young student to bear when they should be the best and carefree years of his life.

Ms Walley said it would be a "blight on a young life" if he was to be known as a person with a significant judgment against him.

It would affect his life, his professional reputation and his credit rating, she said, adding that it would have a devastating effect if the stay was removed.

Mr Justice Michael Peart granted a stay on the order pending the outcome of an application to the Supreme Court to extend time to appeal.

Last May, the judge ruled that arrangements should be made for the permanent removal of material about Mr McKeogh from the internet.

The court also made orders against any republication of the material.

The internet companies may appeal some of the court orders.

In the original video, a taxi driver posted a video of a person he claimed had evaded his fare in an effort to identify him.

Mr McKeogh was wrongly identified as the person in the video.

He was out of the country at the time.