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Covid conspiracy Gemma O'Doherty ordered to remove 'defamatory' videos about Beaumont Hospital

Mr Justice Senan Allen said Ms O'Doherty's claim was "devoid of substance" and there was no prospect of her ever standing it up

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Gemma O'Doherty

Gemma O'Doherty

Gemma O'Doherty

Activist Gemma O'Doherty has been ordered to remove what a High Court judge described as defamatory videos posted on the internet about Dublin's Beaumont Hospital and its director of nursing.

The three videos contain statements by Ms Doherty about the hospital and its director of Nursing Ms Maria Murray including that staff are being "forced" to take what she says are “experimental Covid 19 injections” which, she alleges, have killed thousands of people.

Ms O'Doherty also said on the video's that staff who did not take vaccines were harassed and demoted, describes the hospital as "a death camp," and that it employed "psychopaths and had committed crimes against humanity".

She further claimed that the hospital had denied life-saving treatment to patients, and is administering lethal injunctions of Covid-19 vaccines.

In a judgement Mr Justice Senan Allen said he was making various orders, including injunctions requiring Ms O'Doherty to remove the videos, after finding that they were defamatory and that she has no defence which is reasonably likely to succeed.

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Gemma O'Doherty

Gemma O'Doherty

Gemma O'Doherty

 

What Ms O'Doherty had said in her reporting about the plaintiffs, he said was "devoid of substance" and there was no prospect of her ever standing it up.

He said courts must be careful not to interfere with free speech or the free expression of opinions. However, a court will intervene if it can be shown that statements have been made, and are liable to be repeated, for which there is no reasonable basis.

The judge said he absolutely agreed with Ms O'Doherty that journalists have a duty to report and comment on matters in the public interest, even if what is reported has a negative impact on the reputations of those involved.

He further agreed with her, that journalists have a role in holding powerful institutions like the hospital to account, and that by shining a light on poor behaviour forces public bodies to do better and improve standards.

However, he rejected Ms Doherty's claim that the pursuit of the injunctions against her was tantamount to denying journalists and human right to freely report on matters of public importance.

With the right of free speech, "comes the responsibility not to wantonly or recklessly impugn the good name of others," he said.

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He said he was satisfied to make orders requiring the defendant to remove the videos and cease publishing the defamatory statements at the centre of the action about Ms Murray and the hospital.

The court declined to make an order restraining Ms O'Doherty from publishing anything about the hospital or Ms Murray, as that he said "goes much too far."

The orders are to remain in place pending the outcome of the full hearing of the plaintiffs' defamation action against Ms O'Doherty.

Eoin McCullough SC, appearing with Michael Binchy Bl for the hospital and Ms Murray said that the videos were defamatory of their clients.

They sought injunctions, under the Defamation Act 2009, in the context of defamation proceedings, to have the videos removed and to prevent any re-publication of them.

Counsel contended that Ms O’Doherty has no defence with any reasonable prospect of success.

Opposing the applications Ms O'Doherty said she would "not be silenced" over what she said was one of the biggest scandals in the history of the State which she had been reporting on.

She also said that she stands over what she said in the videos.  In her submissions Ms O'Doherty said the hospital's action against her was "spurious" and "outrageous" "a waste of public money".

In his judgement Mr Justice Allen said  the action was not about Ms O'Doherty's "fringe views on vaccines or on Covid19. She was entitled to her own opinion whether there is an emergency or not, the judge said.

What she has said was that the plaintiffs "well knowing that there is no covid19 crisis" had engaged in practises such as restricting lifesaving medical treatment, and had administered covid19 vaccines to staff without consent.

The judge said it was his firm view that were statements that Ms O 'Doherty does not have any reasonable prospect of establishing.

To establish the truth of what she has said about the plaintiffs the judge said Ms O'Doherty would have to prove that the plaintiffs "secretly agree with her views" that there is no covid19 crisis, and that hospital staff should be given vitamins and zinc instead of vaccine injunctions.

The judge said that he was quite satisfied that this was not a defence that is reasonably likely to succeed.

The judge concluded that the costs of the action should be treated as 'costs in the cause' and should be considered when final orders regarding costs are made after the full hearing of the action.

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