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Google agrees to give details of user who posted 'defamatory' YouTube video about a garda

The Garda claims the video commentary wrongly accuses him of kicking a minor in the head.

Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

GOOGLE HAS AGREED before the High Court to provide a garda with information it has about the person who posted a YouTube video the officer claims contains commentary that is false, malicious and is defamatory of him.

The garda, who can’t be identified for legal reasons says he features in a YouTube video, more than 3 minutes long, which was recorded at a public order incident in 2016 when he and other members effected an arrest.

He claims the video commentary wrongly accuses him of kicking a minor in the head. The audio on the clip does not match and does not reflect the images displayed in the video.

The garda’s solicitors have tried to make contact with the person who posted the video clip on YouTube calling for it to be taken down.

His lawyers were unable to determine the identity of the poster is or what that person’s address is. The garda also asked Google, which owns YouTube, to take down the video.

Refusal

When this did not occur, the garda initiated High Court proceedings and last year he obtained a temporary High Court orders directing the defendant to take the video down.

That order was subsequently replaced by an undertaking in the same terms by Google.

The Dublin based garda, represented in court by Ken Fogarty SC and John Morrissey Bl, had sought various order including a permanent injunction requiring Google LLC to remove the video from YouTube.

He also sought orders directing Google to deliver up the identity of the person who posted the video, and all other relevant contact information and details within its power and control.

The case, including a number of pretrial motions, came before Mr Justice Senan Allen at the High Court.

Following talks between the parties today, Google represented by Michael Howard SC, consented to an order known as a Norwich Pharmacal order where it will disclose information it has concerning the identity of the person who posted the allegedly defamatory video to the garda.

The court heard that the parties had also agreed that the injunction proceedings would be discontinued and could be struck out against Google, but will continue against the person who posted the video.

The sides also agreed that the court could make no order as to costs of the proceedings.

Mr Justice Allen welcomed the agreement reached between the parties.

The court had heard that the commentary on the allegedly defamatory video wrongly accuses the garda of having “assaulted that young fella,” that he is “after kicking the head off him” and the garda has been ” booting him.”

The statements on the video the garda says are unfounded and without substance, and the video has impacted on him as an individual and a member of An Garda Síochana.

The garda was informed of the video by several of his colleagues after it was posted received almost 40,000 views and the website had dozens of comments.

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About the author:

Aodhan O Faolain

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