A Facebook post has just cost a Monaghan man €75,000.

Yesterday, in Monaghan Circuit Criminal Court Judge John O’Hagan awarded €75,000 in damages to Desmond Crofton, the National Director of the National Regional Game Council. The Council regulates game shooting in Ireland.

The award was made against John Gilsenan of Grigg, Doohamlet, Castleblayney, who had posted a comment on Facebook suggesting that Mr Crofton had caused the organisation to go “broke”.

Mr Crofton told the court that this post had resulted in questions being raised by the members about the organisation’s finances. Mr Crofton was suspended from his position with full pay while an investigation took place. Mr Crofton said that the organisation had over €7m in funding and was completely solvent at the time of the post.

In finding against Mr Gilsenan, Judge O’Hagan stated that his order should “teach people posting messages on the social media site to be very careful”.

Mr Gilsenan did not attend the hearing and so the award was made in his absence.