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Fine Gael minister confirms complaint lodged with gardaí against political blogger

Blogger and academic Catherine Kelly claims she was cautioned by gardaí about her social media posts and online articles which referenced Regina Doherty.

90322876_90322876 Regina Doherty Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

FINE GAEL MINISTER for Social Protection Regina Doherty this evening confirmed that a complaint has been made to gardaí regarding a political academic and blogger who recently wrote an article regarding Doherty’s financial history.

Writing on the Jude Collins blog, Tyrone-born academic Catherine Kelly claimed she was recently approached by gardaí from Pearse Street Garda Station who, upon confirming her identity and her Twitter handle, cautioned her about her social media posts and online articles which referenced Regina Doherty.

An article which is understood to have caused the complaint was published online earlier this year, and dealt with the liquidation of a company run by Doherty and her husband in 2013.

When contacted in relation to this matter this evening, a spokesperson for Doherty confirmed that a complaint had been made to gardaí.

“A complaint has been made to the gardaí, however it would be inappropriate to comment as Garda inquiries (are ongoing) and a Garda investigation is underway,” the spokesperson told TheJournal.ie.

Any individual has the right to make a complaint to the gardaí should they believe that they are being subjected to unlawful activity.

A Garda spokesperson meanwhile told TheJournal.ie that “An Garda Síochána does not comment on outstanding cases involving named individuals”, when asked specifically if a complaint had been made about Kelly by Minister Doherty.

The liquidation of her company, which bought and sold surplus IT components, in January 2013 saw the company fold with debts outstanding of €280,000.

The company ceased trading at the height of the downturn in 2009.

In May 2016, Doherty described the circumstances surrounding the liquidation in an interview with RTÉ, and reiterated that she hadn’t “broken the law”.

She said she and her husband had taken out a loan to pay back AIB that “will probably take me the rest of my life to pay back and that’s cool because I’m fortunate enough to be in a position to do that and some other debts were written off during the liquidation”.

“I haven’t hidden anything, I’m not happy or proud about what happened,” she said.

I’m not a bad person, I had a tough time in business and I’ve learned more from that than everything else.

46-year-old Doherty was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 2011, and became Government Chief Whip after her re-election in the February 2016 general election.

She succeeded Leo Varadkar as Minister for Social Protection upon the former’s ascension to Taoiseach last month.

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