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Home / News / Contempt case against O’Doherty over image use adjourned

Contempt case against O’Doherty over image use adjourned

An application to have Gemma O’Doherty brought before the High Court to answer her alleged refusal to obey an order not to harass the mother of a young man who died by suicide has been put back for a week.

Lawyers acting for Edel Campbell, who is suing Ms O’Doherty over the use of her son’s image on a publication run by the defendant, have brought a motion seeking her attachment and possible committal to prison for contempt.

She was not in court for the hearing as she is “out of the jurisdiction”.

Mr Justice Mark Sanfey put back the matter after being told that while Ms O’Doherty was aware of the application, and had been emailed the court documents seeking her attachment, he was adjourning the case to allow Ms Campbell’s team to make certain legal submissions on the application.

The judge said the submissions should address if service by email, rather than service in person, would suffice in regards to a motion for attachment that could result in a person being committed to prison for contempt.

Counsel for Ms Campbell, David Kennedy SC, said that there could be “no doubt” that Ms O’Doherty “knows exactly what is happening”.

When the matter was last before the court, the defendant had invited others who disagreed with his client’s application to attend court, he added.

Mr Kennedy said his side was quite prepared to furnish the court with the legal submissions it has sought, but said that Ms O’Doherty’s attitude to the application was “an abuse” of the fair procedures and processes afforded by the courts.

Ms Campbell’s lawyers had previously obtained orders from the court against Ms O’Doherty including an injunction restraining the defendant from harassing or intimidating her.

Ms O’Doherty was also ordered to remove images of Mrs Campbell’s late son, Diego Gilsenan, from any media platforms under the defendant’s control, or from publishing any images of herself and her family on any medium.

It is claimed that in a series of video posts by Ms O’Doherty – on dates in June, July, August and September of last year – the defendant made statements in clear disregard and in breach of the court’s orders.

Ms Campbell’s lawyers have brought a motion for Ms O’Doherty’s attachment, meaning that she should be brought before the court to answer allegations that she is not complying with the orders and her possible committal to prison for alleged contempt.

The court had previously heard that Ms O’Doherty denies any wrongdoing.

Earlier today, the judge allowed Brendan Moloney & Company Solicitors, who had been representing Ms O’Doherty, to cease representing her in the action.

There was no opposition to Mr Moloney’s application.

Ms Campbell’s application forms part of her action against Ms O’Doherty over the alleged unauthorised publication of the image of plaintiff’s late son.

She claims Ms O’Doherty has wrongly and unlawfully used the image of her son in an article published on media controlled by Ms O’Doherty linking unexplained deaths to Covid-19 vaccination.

Ms Campbell, from Kingscourt in Co Cavan, secured an injunction restraining Ms O’Doherty from harassing the plaintiff, or from publishing her and her son’s images or any personal confidential material about them.

Ms O’Doherty is also restrained from encouraging or inciting others to intimidate the plaintiff and was ordered to take down and remove any image of Ms Campbell and her son from any form of media that she owned or operated by the defendant.

The injunction is to remain in place pending the final outcome of Ms Campbell’s action against Ms O’Doherty, trading as ‘The Irish Light’.

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

Following Mr Gilsenan’s death in August 2021, it is claimed that Ms O’Doherty used the image of the plaintiff’s son in an article that it is claimed wrongly stated that he died as a result of the administration of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Ms Campbell claims that Ms O’Doherty has refused to stop using her son’s image and that the unauthorised and repeated use of the image amounts to harassment and a breach of her constitutional rights.

She claims the defendant’s actions have caused her emotional pain, suffering and harm.

Ms O’Doherty rejects all of the allegations of wrongdoing made against her.

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