Gardaí made ‘20 efforts’ to find Gemma O’Doherty to bring her before High Court

Editor of ‘Irish Light’ publication allegedly in contempt of court order not to harass mother of deceased young man

Gardaí have made “20 efforts” to locate Gemma O’Doherty so that she can be brought before a judge to answer a complaint alleging she is in contempt of High Court orders.

Mr Justice Mark Sanfey agreed on Friday to further adjourn an application, which could ultimately lead to Ms O’Doherty’s imprisonment, until gardaí can execute an order to bring her before the court.

Ms O’Doherty, who is editor of a publication called The Irish Light, is out of the jurisdiction, the court heard.

The contempt application arises out of her alleged refusal to obey an order not to harass the mother of a deceased young man.


Edel Campbell, whose son Diego Gilsenan died by suicide, is suing Ms O’Doherty over the use of her son’s image in The Irish Light. Ms O’Doherty was ordered to remove images of Mr Gilsenan from any media platforms under her control and to not publish images of him or his family on any medium.

However, it is claimed that there have since been numerous other publications in clear disregard of the court order. As a result, an application was made by Ms Campbell’s lawyers for Ms O’Doherty’s attachment and committal to prison for contempt of court. Ms O’Doherty denies any wrongdoing.

Last week, Mr Justice Sanfey adjourned the matter so that gardaí could serve the attachment and committal papers. The judge said the case could come back at any time in the interim if gardaí located Ms O’Doherty or if she chose herself to attend the court.

The judge was on Friday told that she had not turned up and gardaí had not been in a position to execute the order.

David Kennedy SC, for Ms Campbell, said gardaí had indicated that they had seen broadcasts by Ms O’Doherty which showed she was aware that the case was due back before the court today. Counsel also said members of An Garda Síochána had “made 20 efforts to serve the order” on her.

Mr Justice Sanfey said he also knew Ms O’Doherty was aware that the case was on because she had asked to join the hearing remotely by video link. He said this request was refused because the purpose of the application is to secure her personal attendance at court.

He said he would adjourn the matter, not to a specific date, but with liberty to apply to have the case brought back when gardaí are in a position to give effect to the order.