Liam Guidera of Frank Ward & Co., the legal firm who represents the Irish Taoiseach, has requested that material posted on the discussion forum Politics.ie concerning Grainne Carruth and the legal firm be removed on threat of litigation.
The material, which was described by Mr. Guidera as libelous, was immediately removed by the site administrator David Cochrane, who subsequently banned all discussion of the Irish Leader or anything to do with his allegedly receiving bribes in the mid-90s.
Here follows the letter received by Mr. Cochrane;
This afternoon it was brought to our attention that your website is publishing under the above heading a number of comments from different contributors concerning this firm’s representation of Ms. Grainne Carruth at the Mahon Tribunal.
Such comments are entirely untrue and grossly defamatory of this firm and its Partners. We now call upon you to immediately remove such material from your website and we are writing in similar terms to hosting365 who appear to provide a technical support system to you.
We also now formally call upon you to identify, giving full name and address, of the following contributors…
We find it extraordinary that such postings have remained on your website now for some twenty hours despite the fact that a number of contributors to the discussion clearly brought to your attention that defamatory matter had been published and specifically calling on your Moderators to delete the same. Clearly you are failing to supervise or monitor in any meaningful way the website for which you are responsible.
We await your response by return and you should note that this letter will be relied upon in any Court proceedings to be instituted against you and the other parties involved.
The alleged libelous statements were made by 6 individual bloggers in reference to Ms. Grainne Carruth’s testimony last week in the Mahon Tribunal. She admitted that previous evidence she had given under oath had been untrue.
Many of the bloggers have defended their statements, which they have maintained to be honestly held opinion, however under current Irish defamation law, the publishers of such content (in this case Mr. Cochrane and the hosting company Hosting365) can be prosecuted for any libelous content published on their website.