Eoghan Harris and his wife Gwen Halley will not be prosecuted for tweets

Former newspaper columnist and politician Eoghan Harris and his wife Gwen Halley will not be charged following a Garda inquiry into allegations of online harassment.

The complaint by Aoife Moore, a political journalist, sparked a nine-month investigation into the couple, which led to a filing being sent to prosecutors in May.

Her complaint related to tweets posted by Mr Harris and Ms Halley from pseudonymous Twitter accounts.

Gardaí informed the parties today that the DPP has decided not to press charges.

“We are very pleased with this news as the initial coverage of this investigation caused us quite a bit of grief,” said Mr. Harris.

Ms Moore declined to comment.

The former senator and his wife were both questioned by gardaí as part of the inquiry looking into whether offenses were committed under the Non-Fatal Offenses Against the Person Act 1997.

This prohibits harassment of another “by persistently following, observing, harassing, harassing, or communicating with him or her.”

The couple denied the tweets constituted online harassment.

Mr. Harris, who is terminally ill, was discharged from the Sunday independent in May last year after admitting to being secretly involved in running a Twitter account under the name “Barbara J Pym”.

The newspaper’s editor, Alan English, said material published on the account often went well beyond fair and reasonable comments, describing Mr Harris’ involvement in the account as a “breach of trust”.

The Pym account and other accounts associated with it have been banned from Twitter.

Mrs. Halley, also a former Sunday independent Writer, later admitted to being behind one of the suspended accounts that used the name “Dolly White”.

she said before Irish Independent She was responsible for 34 tweets criticizing Ms. Moore’s coverage of Sinn Féin.

While the criminal matter appears to be closed, civil proceedings are still ongoing.

Mrs. Moore, who works for the Sunday timeshas an ongoing libel case against Mr Harris and his wife in the High Court.

Mr. Harris is also being sued by for allegedly malicious and defamatory posts on Twitter Belfast Telegraph Crime correspondent Allison Morris.

Both Mr Harris and his wife deny the defamation, claiming the content of the tweets was fair comment.

Mr. Harris has also initiated a libel case against Ms. Moore in the Circuit Court, where a hearing could be scheduled for next month.

These relate to comments in which Ms Moore said the Pym account had sent her sexualized messages about “whether Mary Lou McDonald hit me up, how big my ass is and called me a terrorist”.

She also said she had to go to the counseling and gardaí to follow tweets.

While Mr Harris accepts that the Pym account tweeted public messages about Ms Moore, he says he never messaged her privately or directly and denies ever having communicated with her in a “sexualized manner”.

He claims the anonymous Pym account was set up to tweet about Northern Ireland politics and is “not a trolling account”.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/eoghan-harris-and-wife-gwen-halley-will-not-face-criminal-charges-over-tweets-42001523.html Eoghan Harris and his wife Gwen Halley will not be prosecuted for tweets

Fry Electronics Team

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