Liam McCaffrey suing Facebook over comments posted

Case involves social media page purportedly run by supporters of Sean Quinn

It is understood Liam McCaffrey and QIH, which declined to comment, aim to force Facebook to take down the page.

It is understood Liam McCaffrey and QIH, which declined to comment, aim to force Facebook to take down the page.

 

Liam McCaffrey, chief executive of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH), is suing Facebook over comments on a page purportedly run by supporters of his former mentor Sean Quinn, who founded the Quinn Group but later lost control.

Mr McCaffrey and QIH have hired Dublin law firm Byrne Wallace to take the defamation case, filed in the High Court on Monday. It is understood it relates to the “Sean Quinn Community” page on the social media network.

The page, whose avatar is a picture of Mr Quinn above the headline “Shafted”, was launched in recent weeks and makes a range of unsubstantiated allegations against Mr McCaffrey and QIH that cannot be repeated for legal reasons.

It is understood that Mr McCaffrey and QIH, which declined to comment, aim to force Facebook to take down the page.

It is the second time that QIH has resorted to legal action against Facebook over comments posted on the network purportedly in support of Mr Quinn. It took another case about 18 months in relation to a different page that has since been taken down.

The “Sean Quinn Community” page on Sunday posted a statement purporting to come from Mr Quinn, although he could not be reached last night to confirm if this claim is accurate.

The posting makes reference to an article in last month’s Fermanagh Herald, which reported on QIH’s recent financial results, which showed profits up 60 per cent to almost €11 million.

‘Sacked’ claim

The page’s administrators, who made no response last night to a request for further comment, claim the purported “message from Sean Quinn” was “circulated locally” in response to the Herald article.

The statement makes the claim that Mr Quinn was “sacked” from the business in 2016, after he had rejoined it for a period to advise a local consortium backed by US institutional investors that bought the remnants of the Quinn Group from administrators.

The author of the statement questions QIH’s financial performance and makes allegations about how it has been run by its current owners.

It is understood that the case filed this week by Mr McCaffrey and QIH does not directly relate to this statement, although they are aware of it. The case was in preparation for several weeks beforehand.

It is likely that the case against Facebook will, however, encompass other postings such as one making claims about Mr McCaffrey’s involvement in a separate UK business. These claims cannot be repeated for legal reasons.

Mr Quinn lost control of the Quinn Group in 2011 after he got into financial difficulties. In recent years, QIH has repeatedly complained of sporadic incidents of sabotage and intimidation. Mr Quinn has previously condemned the incidents.