Twitter ordered to remove comments about Waterford Mayor

Thursday 20 February 2014 18.17
Order made under Section 33 of the 2009 Defamation Act
Order made under Section 33 of the 2009 Defamation Act

The High Court has ordered Twitter to take down comments posted about Waterford Mayor John Cummins.

Last Saturday, the Fine Gael Councillor secured temporary injunctions against the social media 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.

Today 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.

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.

He said that 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.