Brendan O’Connor files High Court action against Mediahuis over 2014 data breach

Columnist latest to sue company formerly known as INM after emails allegedly illegally accessed

Journalist Brendan O’Connor has filed a High Court action against Mediahuis Ireland Group relating to a data breach in 2014.

The proceedings against Mediahuis Ireland, the publisher formerly known as Independent News & Media (INM), and the former chair Leslie Buckley, were filed by solicitor Simon McAleese on Friday.

Mr O’Connor, who writes a regular column for the Independent, is the latest to sue the company after his emails were allegedly illegally accessed in a data breach in 2014.

Several high-profile names among the INM 19 (a cohort of people with various links to the company) are understood to have settled in recent weeks.


They include INM’s former chief executive, Vincent Crowley, and Sam Smyth, a former star columnist at the Irish Independent, who is believed to have settled for a large six-figure sum.

Mediahuis is understood to have set aside about €10 million to settle the litany of data cases.

The breach is alleged to have involved emails and other material being searched by third parties for mentions of “persons of interest”. The breach was found to be illegal by the Data Protection Commission.

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson is a reporter for The Irish Times