The Ancient Order of Hibernians is threatening a lawsuit against the internet provider America On Line following recent allegations by some subscribers that Irish Heritage Forum boards were censored.
AOH national president Thomas Gilligan has launched his own inquiry and has asked the order’s counsel to consider a class-action lawsuit.
"There are too many unanswered questions and what few answers are forthcoming are pretty lame," Gilligan said in a statement.
AOL previously told the Echo that it had suspended the boards for a period before Christmas because there had been incidents of personal abuse and foul language cropping up on the IHF boards where Northern Ireland was the most hotly debated issue. The boards were restored at the end of December.
However, in a letter to AOL chairman Steve Case, Gilligan said that the AOH could see no reason to justify the "extraordinary step" of closing down the boards.
"Our experience with Britain and its security and intelligence forces attempting to impose their censorship in America makes us very suspicious of the bizarre explanations offered by AOL," Gilligan said.
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— Ray O’Hanlon