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Man admits hacking Luke 'Ming' Flanagan's Twitter account

Flanagan said the case has had a devastating impact on his family’s life.

A FORMER PARLIAMENTARY assistant to MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan admitted to a Brussels court today that he posted from the politician’s Twitter account about former Green Party election candidate Saoirse McHugh, according to RTÉ.

Flanagan initially said at the time that his account was hacked that it was logged into through a third-party app which he said allowed an individual tweet from his account by using an old password.

Flanagan’s account tweeted at 2.50am on 28 September 2020: “Sapirse [sic] mchugh photo skinny dipping”.

He said that the person who did this logged in from Belgium. Flanagan himself had been at home in Ireland since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Belgian police had been working with Flanagan since he made the complaint four years ago.

Diarmuid Hayes, 34, from Dublin, who left his position as assistant to Flanagan in 2019, was today convicted in the Belgian court. 

RTÉ reports that the Belgian public prosecutor has sought a one-year prison term in the case, with sentencing to take place next month. 

Today in court, Hayes apologised for putting the post on Flanagan’s X account. He said it had been a joke and an “impulsive decision” that he had taken in the middle of the night. 

Speaking outside the court today, Ming Flanagan said it has had a “devastating impact” on his life, stating that “it is now quite clear who did this”. 

“My name has been cleared,” he added, stating that he can now get on with his job as an MEP.

The politician said the matter has had a huge impact on his family, with his daughters being reluctant to leave the house sometimes over the comments they would hear about their father. 

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