Portakabin seeks orders aimed at identifying authors of anonymous emails

Portakabin Seeks Orders Aimed At Identifying Authors Of Anonymous Emails
The emails contain untrue, defamatory and negative allegations about matters including the quality of Portakabin's products and services, Portakabin claims
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Portakabin has asked the High Court for orders directing Google to provide it with details about a Gmail account that has been sending allegedly defamatory messages to its customers.

Portakabin Ltd and Portakabin (Ireland) Ltd, which manufacturer and supply modular buildings, seek the order so they can identify who has been sending the defamatory messages to customers who have long-standing business relations with it.


The emails contain untrue, defamatory and negative allegations about matters including the quality of Portakabin's products and services, Portakabin claims.

Portakabin also claims the currently unknown author of the messages, which commenced last month, intends to damage Portakabin's relationships with its customers.

It now wants to pursue all remedies possible, including legal proceedings, against the author of the emails.


As a result, Portakabin is seeking orders against Google Ireland Ltd directing the internet giant to disclose information and data it holds associated with the particular Gmail account that has been allegedly using a pseudonym 'John Smith'.


In what is known as a 'Norwich Pharmacal' order Portakabin wants contact information including the address, telephone number and or any other email address, of the holder of irishpeople2021@gmail.com.

Portakabin also wants to be given details about the payment instrument, including credit card details, used by the account holder, and the IP address and associated time stamps of the account.

In order to get such details, a court order is required by the applicants.

Anonymous letters

In a sworn statement to the court Portakabin director Paul Newell said that the emails are part of a wider chain of events dating back to October 2020 when anonymous letters were sent to is customers.


Those letters also made false claims about the company. Arising out of those letters Portakabin, he said hired external consultants review its procurement and business practises.

The consultants concluded in a report that there was no evidence to sustain the claims made in the letters.

Mr Newell said that there is a strong possibility that the author of the emails and the letters are the same person or persons.

The person behind the material, may well be an employee of the company, he added. Should that be the case then disciplinary proceedings with be taken against that individual, he added.

Permission to serve short notice of the proceedings was granted on an ex-parte basis by Mr Justice Senan Allen on Wednesday afternoon.

The judge adjourned the case to a date in June.

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