The mother of a teenager who tragically died by suicide in Cavan has claimed, before the High Court this week, that she has been the target of an online campaign of intimidation and harassment after commencing legal action against Gemma O'Doherty.
Edel Campbell says she has "borne the burden of Ms O'Doherty's vitriol" while she and her family continue to grieve for her late son. Earlier this year, Ms Campbell launched a High Court action aimed at restraining Ms O'Doherty, trading as 'The Irish Light', from using or publishing the image of Ms Campbell's late son Diego Gilsenan for any purpose without the plaintiff's consent.
The court heard that following Mr Gilsenan's death in August 2021, Ms O'Doherty used her son's image in an article that wrongly stated that he died as a result of the administration of the Covid-19 vaccination.
Ms Campbell, from Kingscourt, claims that despite making several pleas to Ms O'Doherty to cease using her son's image, the defendant refused to do so and denies that the use of the image is unethical.
Ms Campbell claims that the unauthorised and repeated use of her son's image amounts to a harassment and breach of her constitutional rights, and has caused her emotional pain, suffering and harm. As part of her action, Ms Campbell is also seeking an injunction against Ms O'Doherty.
The orders have been sought on the grounds, that since commencing the action in May, the defendant's alleged conduct towards Ms Campbell in social media posts has been "exponentially worse" than before.
She claims Ms O'Doherty has "defamed her" and has also directed abuse at her solicitor describing the firm representing her as "a MI5 grade-operation," "a freemason" and a "Sinn Fein outfit".
She also claims that as a result of an alleged direct call for action by Ms O'Doherty, anonymous attack accounts have been set up on social media in an attempt to target Ms Campbell. She says that her own image has been published in one account, accompanied with false and defamatory claims, including one claim by Ms O'Doherty that her late son was a drug dealer and had been murdered.
As a result, Ms Campbell has asked the High Court for orders restraining the defendant from publishing anything about the plaintiff or her son, including their images and medical records.
She is also seeking an injunction to prevent the defendant, and her servants and agents, from harassing, communicating, intimidating or coming near Ms Campbell's home and place of work, and that Ms O'Dohery not encourage or incite anybody else to do so.
Ms Campbell's barrister told proceedings on Tuesday that his client was seeking the injunctions "very much as a last resort," due to the ongoing campaign being waged against her by the defendant and others.
Counsel also highlighted that Ms Campbell has also made a complaint to the Gardai about the harassment, and has sought the help of elected representatives.