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High Court

Woman claims she's been target of online harassment after taking case against Gemma O'Doherty

The claim has been made by Edel Campbell.

THE MOTHER OF a teenager who died by suicide has claimed before the High Court that she has been the target of an online campaign of intimidation and harassment after she commenced a legal action against Gemma O’Doherty.

The claim has been made by Edel Campbell, who claims she has “borne the burden of Ms O’Doherty’s vitriol” while she and her family have been trying to grieve for her late son.

Earlier this year, Campbell launched a High Court action aimed at restraining O’Doherty, trading as The Irish Light, from using or publishing the image of Campbell’s late son Diego Gilsenan for any purpose without the plaintiff’s consent.

The plaintiff claims that O’Doherty is a journalist and the publisher of The Irish Light, a free periodical newspaper, and the publisher/editor of the www.irishlightpaper.com website.

Following Gilsenan’s death in August 2021 it is claimed that O’Doherty use her son’s image in an article which it is claimed wrongly stated that he died as a result of the administration of the Covid-19 vaccination.

Campbell, from Kingscourt, Co Cavan, claims that despite making several pleas to O’Doherty to cease using her son’s image, the defendant has allegedly refused to do so, and has denied that the use of the image is unethical.

Campbell claims that the unauthorised and repeated use of her son’s image amounts to a harassment and breach of her constitutional rights, and has caused her emotional pain, suffering and harm.

As part of her action, where she seeks against O’Doherty, Campbell represented by David Kennedy SC, with Paul Comiskey O’Keeffe Bl instructed by solicitor Ciaran Mulholland is also seeking an injunction against the defendant.

The orders have been sought on the grounds that since commencing the action in May, it is alleged that the defendant’s alleged conduct towards Campbell in social media posts has been “exponentially worse” than before.

It is alleged that O’Doherty has “deluded herself” into thinking that the action amounts to a “psy-op” by the “secret state”.

She claims O’Doherty has “defamed her” and has also directed abuse at her solicitor describing the firm representing her as “a MI5 grade-operation,” “a freemason” and a “Sinn Féin outfit”.

She also claims that as a result of an alleged direct call for action by O’Doherty anonymous attack accounts have been set up on social media in an attempt to target Campbell.

She claims that her own image has been published in one account, accompanied with false and defamatory claims, including one claim by O’Doherty that her late son was a drug dealer and had been murdered.

It is alleged that O’Doherty has stated in an online video that she has put her assets beyond the reach of possible creditors, and that she is untouchable. She has further stated that she “will be going nowhere near any court”.

As a result, Campbell has asked the High Court for orders restraining the defendant from publishing anything about the plaintiff or her son, including their images and medical records.

She also seeks an injunction preventing the defendant, and her servants and agents, from harassing, communicating, intimidating or coming near Campbell’s home and place of work, and that O’Dohery not encourage or incite anybody else to do so.

She further seeks orders requiring the defendant and to remove any images of her son from websites in her control and not to publish false articles or information about Campbell and her deceased son.

The matter came before Mr Justice Brian O’Moore today, who on an ex-parte basis granted the plaintiff’s lawyers permissions to serve short notice of the injunction proceedings on O’Doherty.

The matter will return before the High Court later this month.

Seeking the order, Kennedy said that his client was seeking the injunctions “very much as a last resort,” due to the ongoing campaign being waged against her by the defendant and others.

Campbell has also made a complaint to the gardaí about the harassment, and has sought the help of elected representatives, counsel added.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. 

Author
Aodhan O Faolain