Ganley lawyer says dozens of cases pending

 

There are “several dozen” cases pending in the Republic arising out of libellous comments on social media sites, according to leading defamation lawyer Paul Tweed.

Mr Tweed represented businessman and political activist Declan Ganley in what is thought to be one of the first libel actions taken by an Irish person over comments made on social media sites.

Blogger Kevin Barrington made an apology on Twitter and on his blog after making disparaging remarks about the Libertas founder.

“I wish to unreservedly apologise to Declan Ganley for my tweets of 12th December 2012,” he posted. “To reflect my regret I have made a substantial donation to the Poor Clares.”

Mr Tweed said Mr Ganley was used to criticism but the comments made were “grossly offensive and personal”. “He was called the most outrageous things,” he said.

He said many of his clients were journalists who felt defamed by comments made about them on Facebook and Twitter.

He said Twitter was the most common forum for defamatory comments, and warned that retweets of libellous material were in themselves libellous.