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Article posted Feb 02 2012, 11:12 AM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: Independent.ie Print

Ireland: Website accused of defamation is closed by judge

By Tim Healy

A JUDGE yesterday ordered a website to be shut down and said lawmakers should think about making it illegal to post "patently untrue" allegations about people on the internet.

Mr Justice Michael Peart was speaking after he granted Damien Tansey various orders, effectively ending the operation of the website www.rate-your-solicitor.com.

The Sligo-based solicitor brought defamation proceedings to the High Court arising out of comments on the website.

The action was against site operators John Gill, of Drumline, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare; and Ann Vogelaar, of Parklands, Westport, Co Mayo.

It is also against the US-based internet services provider, Dostster Inc, which hosts the site. Both Mr Gill and Ms Vogelaar denied the claims against them.

In his ruling, the judge said he was satisfied to grant injunctions against Mr Gill and Ms Vogelaar, pending the full hearing of the action, requiring them to end the operation of the website. They were also ordered to remove various material posted about Mr Tansey on the website and refrain from publishing further defamatory material about him.

They must also provide the names and address of all those involved in the posting of defamatory material. Mr Tansey also obtained similar orders against Dotster, which did not enter a defence.

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