Today the High Court in Belfast dismissed an application by Google to stop George Galloway taking a case for damages and an injunction to protect his reputation.


In October 2014 Mr. Galloway was given permission to issue proceedings against Google at its registered office in the USA. We claimed that Google had unlawfully posted You Tube videos following an event at the Ulster Hall, Belfast entitled, “Saturday Night with George Galloway” on 23rd August 2014.


Mr. Galloway was libeled on footage describing him as, “a tramp”, “encouraging terrorism” and “supported beheading”. Today the court said, “these were on any view vile and scurrilous allegations made against a sitting MP” and that, “it was not good enough to allow such content to remain accessible for up to 23 days”.


In dismissing the attempt by Google to stop Mr. Galloway’s case the court took the view that Google should have acted more swiftly given “the serious and alarming nature of the libel”. 


Speaking after today’s Ruling solicitor for Mr. Galloway Kevin Winters of KRW Law said,


“This is a massive result for our client. George enjoys a reputation as a robust and fearless politician who will never shirk from an argument. This shouldn’t mean that it’s open season to vilify him in social media. His decision to go to court and protect his reputation has been vindicated today. It represents a first time judicial intervention in what is a complex and evolving area of law to force You Tube to remove scandalous material. This was a bitterly contested application but the Ruling now allows him to proceed to the next stage in his action”. 

Reflecting on today’s Ruling Mr. Galloway added,


“Tax dodging global corporations like Google act like they are a law onto themselves. The court has just demonstrated otherwise. I would like to thank my whole legal team whose dedication and skill has proved decisive. Defeat in this case would have been financially ruinous to me which is of course what the corporations count on in such cases. They have limitless resources not least because they pay almost no taxes”. 


Mr. Galloway’s action for damages will now resume in the new term.



Note: Please refer all enquiries to Kevin Winters, partner at KRW Law