• Sat. Oct 29th, 2022

Jan 29, 2021

A man who posted highly damaging personal allegations about a Fianna Fáil TD on Twitter on election day last year has told the Irish Examiner he didnt even know the politician.
Andrew Cronnolly, of 19 Tamarisk Lawn, Kilnamanagh, Dublin 24, was named in the High Court yesterday as the person responsible for tweeting the allegations on the afternoon of February 8, 2020. 
Frank ORourke, who lost his Kildare North seat in the election, is suing Twitter, Facebook, and Mr Cronnolly for defamation. 
The High Court also heard Mr ORourke is seeking to identify a ‘Mary Doyle, who initially posted the allegations on Facebook.
The plaintiff doesnt actually know who Mary Doyle is, Mr ORourkes lawyer Declan Doyle told Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds. 
We are left in the position of pursuing Facebook and whoever was or is Mary Doyle. 
Mr ORourke launched proceedings last November, telling the High Court that the material disseminated, which he says is entirely false, was designed to cause maximum professional damage to me at a time when he was going through a difficult marriage breakdown.
The Facebook posts first appeared about a week before the 2020 election and the tweet on polling day. 
Mr O’Rourke lost his seat in the election, which he had held for the previous Dáil term.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner last night, Mr Cronnolly admitted he had posted the tweet, which began: Dont vote for Frank ORourke and repeated the damaging personal allegations.
What happened was it was a screenshot from Facebook and I got it off that. To be honest with you I never heard of him [before that occasion]. 
Mr Cronnolly said he is confused about information from Twitter which suggests he was either operating the Twitter account all around the country or disguising his location using technology.
An affadavit, opened in the court, stated that the Twitter account Mr Cronnolly used showed it pinging off IP addresses in places like Limerick, Donegal, and City Hall in Dublin within 20 minutes of each other.
Mr Cronnolly said he hadnt a clue about such virtual private network (VPN) technology, which can disguise a users location, and that he has never been to Limerick and not been in Donegal in the last 10 years.
He stated he is not a member of any political party, but would have been amenable to the vote left, transfer left campaign that was part of the 2020 general election.