PR executive seeks judgment against ex-partner for alleged defamation

Olivia Collins from Galway claims Brian Finnegan defamed her on social media and to clients following break-up

A public relations executive wants the High Court to grant judgment against her former partner due to his alleged failure to defend a defamation action she brought against him.

Olivia Collins, from Knocknacarra in Galway city, claims that following her break-up with Brian Finnegan over two years ago he defamed her in various statements posted on social media platforms and in messages sent to some of her business clients.

In a sworn statement to the court, the businesswoman, who runs a food PR company in Galway, said the pair began a relationship after they met on an online dating site in 2017.

She said they initially broke up some months after as, she claimed, he deceived her about his marital status.


He had claimed to her that he was separated and living separately to his wife in a different residence. However, he had continued to live as a married couple with his wife and children in the family home in Middleton, Co Cork, Ms Collins claimed.

She said they later reconnected after he decided to “come clean”. She said they moved in together in Galway, and they eventually became engaged.

However, difficulties arose and they split up in late 2020 and he was asked to move out of the house they shared, she said.

She claims that following the break-up, which she claims he took very badly, she was harassed by him, and her professional and personal good name was maligned by him.

She said that in “revenge for ending the relationship” the defendant attempted to destroy her good name and reputation.

She claims that in and around July 2021 Mr Finnegan set up a Twitter account called Galway Truths which he used to defame her with malicious and untrue posts.

She also claims the defendant deliberately targeted her professional work by setting up a fake Twitter account that purported to be her account.

She also claims the defendant hacked into family members’ accounts and interfered with their emails.

He caused significant damage to her and her PR business, she further alleged.

She claimed that arising out of his “vile campaign” on various social media platforms prospective customers had chosen not to engage her company.

She also claims the defendant published private and confidential information relating to her business.

As a result, she brought High Court defamation proceedings seeking damages, including aggravated and punitive damages for malicious falsehood, harassment and intimidation, against Mr Finnegan.

Last year she obtained a High Court injunction, which is to remain in place until her action is determined, restraining the defendant from publishing defamatory statements about Ms Collins.

She claims he has not filed an appearance nor a defence to her defamation claim.

In light of this, she has brought a motion before the High Court seeking judgment against him.

At the High Court this week Ms Collins, represented by barrister Con Crowley BL and solicitor Owen Swaine, secured permission from Mr Justice Cian Ferriter to formally serve the now United Arab Emirates-based Mr Finnegan with her motion seeking judgment against him.

Mr Finnegan is to be served with the legal documents generated by the application at his place of work, which the court heard is with the Dell Corporation, 5th Floor, Alpha Building, Dubai Internet City, Dubai, and his residence at Jumeirah Living, Marina Gate, Dubai Marina which are both in the UAE.

Under Irish law, Ms Collins’s legal team is required to make a formal application before the court for permission to serve her application for judgment against Mr Finnegan because it is claimed that he currently resides outside of the jurisdiction and the European Union.

The case will be mentioned before the High Court later this year.