Damages of €75,000.00 awarded for Defamatory Facebook Comment.

A man who posted a defamatory post on Facebook about a director of the country’s game shooting body has had an order to pay €75,000 in damages made against him.

 

In awarding the maximum allowable damages for the Circuit Court against the defendant, Judge John O’Hagan stated that his order should “teach people posting messages on the social media site to be very careful”.

 

The plaintiff (Mr Crofton) took a civil action against the defendant in relation to a Facebook comment posted on or about December 22nd, 2015. The court heard the defamatory post on Facebook suggested Mr Crofton, as its national director, had caused the National Association of Regional Game Councils to go “broke”.

 

Mr Crofton gave an outline of how the Facebook comment had resulted members of the organisation asking questions about the body’s finances, and legal costs. It also resulted in a confrontation that led to him being suspended by the body. The defendant failed to appear in court and his barrister said that although he engaged in some early communication with the plaintiff, he had since “abandoned” the matter.

 

Judge O’Hagan granted the award of €75,000 damages with legal costs.