It has been found that third level student’s personal data is at high risk of being breached. Universities and ITs have an especially high risk of data leaks due to the sheer volume of personal data the institutes must process each year. The prevention of data breaches can be a difficult issue for institutions to manage due to the large volume of staff, and network systems that have to be trained or secured.

Student information stored on systems in universities can be of a sensitive nature such as PPSN numbers, along with banking details make this information highly valuable to criminals. And, because of this, hackers are deliberating targeting educational institutes worldwide.

83% of data breaches happen by unauthorised disclosure of people’s personal information. In the majority of cases, this disclosure is accidental — for example, someone emails information to an incorrect recipient, or documents get mislaid.

In other cases of data breaches, information may get leaked because of deliberate theft. This could be the result of a laptop being stolen, or files taken, or a cybersecurity attack. Disclosures such as these are becoming increasingly common. 

Three major breaches of student’s data in Ireland:

Since the GDPR regulation came into force on the 25th of May 2018, there have been three significant data breaches of student information:

Aug 2018, it was identified that there was a serious flaw in the Student Leap Card system (The student discount travel card). This error allowed college agents to view students personal information such as phone numbers, email address, home address etc.

November 2018, NUI Galway confirmed that the institute suffered a data breach when a USB stick went missing. The stick contained confidential information of 100s of students. It is thought that the USB contained names of around 5% of the student body, their student numbers and exam results. 

October 2019, The Institute of Technology Tralee apologised for a data leak. The breach involved an Excel document that contained personal information of several hundred students. The document was accidentally sent out in an informational email, to a group of students participating in the ITs graduation ceremony. 

Institutions must take steps to help prevent a data breach from occurring, major breaches are a costly and serious issue for universities. When a breach occurs the University or IT must notify all potentially affected students and that the incident must be reported to the Data Protection Commissioner.

If you’ve been affected by any of the above data breaches, talk to us, and we can advise you of your next steps. 





Have you thought about your future?

While writing a will may not sound like the world’s most romantic gesture, lessening the administrative burden for those left behind is absolutely, definitely, unquestionably an act of love.

For the parents among us, it’s one of the most important things you can do to protect your children. Should both parents die without formally appointing legal guardians, decisions about your children’s care can lead to legal debates and further anxiety for the children.

Maybe you already have an up-to-date Will, but how many of us have thought about who will manage our affairs if we become incapacitated? Learn about the legal document, Power of Attorney, that allows you to appoint a person to make decisions about your property or financial affairs.

On Monday 11th of November 2019, All Saints’ will be hosting a talk given by Gibson & Associates Solicitors on the importance of appointing a Power of Attorney and having a Will.

Gibson & Associates will be working with the community in offering free Will workshops. This workshop will set up a basic Will for individuals and families. The workshops will be by appointment only. Appointments can be made through the Parish Office on 01 851 2459.

data breach

Users of popular graphic design company Canva have been exposed to a data breach. The cyber attack was by the same hacker responsible for the recent Zynga games attack Gnosticplayers, who earlier this year put the credentials of 620 million accounts from 16 websites up for sale. Canva is advising users to change their login password after the company’s database was reportedly compromised in the hacking attack.

The attack targeted usernames and email addresses, affecting up to 139 million users globally. Passwords were also obtained, but Canva assured users that passwords have been “salted and hashed with bcrypt,” meaning they remain unreadable by third parties. The platform recommends that users change their passwords as a precaution.

Canva is known to provide a wide range of free (or low-cost) creative tools and stock designs, making it an attractive platform for small marketing teams and novice designers.  Those who use (or have used) Canva should be wary of the security breach and change passwords before diving back in.

  • Canva said there is currently no indication that user designs were stolen by the hackers, and that credit card details remain safe and “confidential.”
  • Those using Facebook or Google to login to Canva were reportedly not affected by the breach.

If you use Canva, you can check on a site called Have I Been Pwned: enter your login email, and this will show if your account has been compromised in a data breach. If the breach that you are pwned in occurred after the GDPR regulation came into force on the 25th of May 2018, you may be entitled to compensation and you should seek legal advice regarding this.


Ardilaun Court is a stunning new development based in Raheny, Dublin 5. A mix of 1, 2 and 3 bed apartments and 3 and 4 bed houses situated at 1 Sybil Hill Road is now in final phase after proving to be very popular in the Dublin market. Delivered by MKN Property Group, who is a stand-out property developer in Ireland as they are providing some of the best quality homes in the country.

This stands out in the current market as it’s rare to see this much space in a property, while still being in such close proximity to the city centre. It is a breath of fresh air compared to city living as Ardilaun Court is situated right beside the remarkable St. Anne’s Park, which is  real Dublin treasure and one of Ireland’s largest and most beautiful city parks. It also has great public travel access as the DART is only a 7 minute walk away and there are many different bus routes along the Howth road.

If you are interested in these superb homes then we can help with your purchase. Once you have chosen the type you like we can give you your own personalised quote for us to complete the purchase. When choosing a solicitor to act for you, it can be tempting to opt for the one that’s the cheapest.  We always recommend that you consider all the elements and work that needs to be done, and choose the solicitor that gives you the confidence that everything will be taken care of….and of course that gives you a sense of value for money.  After all, buying a property is a big investment, and it’s important to feel that you are working with people who understand this.

If you would like to get in touch for a quote please call us on 01 872 3143 to speak to our dedicated Client Care Team, who is there to help you get your file opened and start you on your journey.

Find out more about the development on their website on or find out more about how to buy the property on


Road Safety

The dark nights will soon be upon us and the autumn and winter weather can make driving even more treacherous. No one ever expects to be in an accident but unfortunately, they can happen. What can you do to protect yourself safe and those who travel with you in the aftermath of an accident? There are a few practical points we can all follow:

  • In the immediate aftermath, make sure you stop your car as soon as possible. It is an offence not to. Turn off the engine and switch on your hazard lights.
  • Check yourself and your passengers for any injuries.
  • Call the Gardai or an ambulance immediately if anyone is hurt or if the road is blocked.
  • Stay calm and take some deep breaths. Most people will feel shaken after an accident – even if it is only minor.
  • You should exchange insurance details if another vehicle has been involved. If you suspect the driver does not have insurance or is drunk – call the Gardai.

From a legal/insurance perspective, you should note:

  • Make and model and car registration details of all vehicles involved in the collision.
  • If you have a camera/phone to hand. Take photos of the scene and the vehicles involved. As well as close shots, you should take some wider shots so that the layout of the road and the scene can be understood later if you need to instruct a solicitor or to assist your insurers.
  • If you have a dash camera, you should make the footage available to Gardai, your solicitors/insurers to assist in the investigations.
  • Note the time and date of the accident and the weather conditions.
  • You should contact your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident to report it.

If you have been in an accident, you can contact Gibson & Associates Solicitors to assist you in resolving the matter in a stress-free manner.

Donegal PPN in collaboration with Ulster Bank Community Banking is running a Community Health & Safety Roadshow across Donegal as part of Social Inclusion Week. The event aims to provide members of the public, especially older citizens, with a forum in which to stay safe and well in your community.

Subjects/talks include:

·        Road Safety

·        Current trends in fraud scams, including the warning signs, the safeguards to put in place and who to contact in the event of a fraud attempt.

·        Community groups and exhibitors

·        Legal information to safeguard your finances /estate (Wills, Power of Attorney etc.)

·        Personal Health

·        Community Gardai

There will be plenty of opportunities to speak to our exhibitors so please join us for informative talks, FAQ, exhibitors, refreshments and chat among fellow citizens on issue’s affecting you and your community.
The event is free to attend and walk-ins are welcome, but reserving a spot is recommended and easy to do by emailing mary.clyde@donegalcoco  or


Location Date Venue Time
Dungloe 7th October 2019 CDP Na Rosann, Chapel Road,  Dungloe 11am – 3pm
Letterkenny 8th October 2019 Letterkenny Public Services Centre, Neil T Blaney Rd, Drumnahoagh, Letterkenny 6pm – 9pm
Lifford 14th October 2019 Lifford Clonleigh Family Resource Centre, Townparks, LIfford 11am – 3pm
Inver 21st October 2019 Inver Community Centre, Inver 7pm – 9pm


Promoting Positive actions that are being done by local groups in Donegal in relation to Community Safety

data breach

A Pakistani hacker who previously made headlines earlier this year for selling almost a billion user records stolen from nearly 45 popular online services has now claimed to have hacked the popular mobile social game company Zynga Inc.

With a current market capitalization of over $5 billion, Zynga is one of the world’s most successful social game developers with a collection of hit online games—including FarmVille, Words With Friends, Zynga Poker, Mafia Wars, and Café World—with over a billion players worldwide.

Going by the online alias Gnosticplayers, the serial hacker told The Hacker News that this time, he managed to breach “Words With Friends,” a popular Zynga-developed word puzzle game, and unauthorisedly access a massive database of more than 218 million users.

According to the hacker, the data breach affected all Android and iOS game players who installed and signed up for the ‘Words With Friends’ game on and before 2nd September this year.

In a statement published over a week ago, Zynga admitted the data breach, revealing that the “account login information for certain players of Draw Something and Words With Friends that may have been accessed,” though the company did not reveal the number of affected users.

“We recently discovered that certain player account information may have been illegally accessed by outside hackers.” reads the statement.

Based on a sample data Gnosticplayers shared with The Hacker News, the stolen users’ information includes their:

  • Names
  • Email addresses
  • Login IDs
  • Hashed passwords, SHA1 with salt
  • Password reset token (if ever requested)
  • Phone numbers (if provided)
  • Facebook ID (if connected)
  • Zynga account ID

Besides this, the hacker also claims to have hacked data belonging to some other Zynga-developed games, including Draw Something and the discontinued OMGPOP game, which allegedly exposed clear text passwords for more than 7 million users.

If you are concerned about a data breach, talk to our team today, you may be entitled to compensation.

Near FM GDPR Interview


Jackie Haughey from Citizen’s Information and solicitor Reza Nezam GDPR & Data Protection Law, from Gibson & Associates, will be in the studio with John discussing GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) on its one year anniversary.

Listen back to the interview here:

High Court

Gibson & Associates Solicitors acted in a case that resulted in the High Court writing off the debts of a retired Garda, and his wife Jean Errity, a civil engineer. The couple had debts including €6.1m owed to Ulster Bank, €419,000 to Permanent TSB, €150,000 to a building company called MOF Construction Ltd, and €160,000 to Pepper Finance.

As part of the agreement, the couple will keep their home and continue to make mortgage repayments on the property. To fund the personal insolvency agreement, the couple will have to sell off two investment properties. Other family members are contributing €40,000 towards the debt. The court was asked to approve the agreement as the couple’s creditors would not be better off if the couple filed bankruptcy.

Gibson & Associates litigation team acted on behalf of the couple, this is the firms’ second recent success in a similar litigation case. Financial institutions that were creditors to the couple argued against the agreement, but the Judge claimed that a bankruptcy situation would not benefit the lenders.

Read more about the case in the media

The Irish Times 

Medical Negligence

Did you know that the first 5 months of 2019, €108 million has been paid out in medical negligence in Ireland? It’s a worrying statistic. And it’s claimed to be driven by current pressures put onto medical care by staff shortages, funding, hospital overcrowding and general working conditions. Of these payouts, more than half of these were related to medical negligence in childbirth.

In the US medical error is the third leading cause of death after heart attacks and cancer. It is a growing concern that we could follow suit in Ireland. 

What is Medical Negligence

Medical negligence is referred to as an action or lack of proper standard of care by a health professional that causes unnecessary pain, suffering, distress to a patient. Sometimes, there can be a fine line between what is considered medical negligence and what possibly is an unfortunate result from a medical treatment.  So, there could be many factors looked at to determine if there was a medical error. Here are a few of the most commonly occurring medical negligence incident types:

Birth Injuries: these can, unfortunately, result in life changing implications for the child, birth injury claims cases tend to have high compensation amounts awarded, to help with the care of the affected child. 

Misdiagnoses: especially cancer misdiagnosis, and consequent delays in treatment. 

Surgery error: such as a result of a cosmetic procedure gone wrong. 

Medication error: this could be a failure to prescribe a required medication, such as an antibiotic for a life threatening infection, or simply prescribing the wrong mediation that results in a serious injury the patient.

As soon as you suspect an error may have occurred, you should request to speak another medical professional, especially a doctor if available. It’s important to prioritise your health in this situation, especially to limit any damage, the other doctor should take immediate action to correct any errors or mistakes that have been made. 

What actions should you take:

The most important action you can take to prove medical negligence is to request your medical records. These records will include your medical history, list of mediations, any tests carried out and a recording of symptoms, this is highly important in cases of medication errors and misdiagnosis.

This information alone may be enough to prove a medical malpractice; especially if the opinion of another medical professional is sought, and they verify that the care was substandard, or that the injury in question as a result of that care/or lack of care. 

Photographs of the injury could provide useful if you’re in a situation where it’s possible to take a photograph of the injury. A common example of this would be a cosmetic procedure that has gone wrong. You should also take personal notes i.e a description of the injury, dates and times, names of those involved, hospital or clinic location etc.

Maybe you had close family or friends that witnessed the negligence event, for example, you may have been given medical results that misdiagnosed a condition. Or maybe, it’s you that has witnessed medical negligence to your family, an example of this occurrence could be in a nursing home where you noticed careless mishandling of the patient; read more about nursing home neglect here

How to help prove negligence incident?

There must be evidence that a doctor/patient relationship existed, this can be verified in the form of medical receipts for treatment. You should always keep prescription receipts, in case you have to prove a medication error. 

If you know other people that have been injured by the same clinic or practitioner, this can make your case against them much stronger and easier to prove. The media is a good place to check for other cases or complaints against the clinic, or medical practitioner. 

Reporting medical negligence:

There are various health and social regulatory bodies that promote a high standard of care and will investigate any reports of misconduct.

A complaint against a medical professional should be brought to the attention of the relevant regulatory body. So, let’s just say that you want to make a complaint about a doctor, you would report the incident to the Medical Council, a guide on how to make a complaint can be found on their website.

Now, you have a complaint made and medical reports to back your claim up, what next? If you are injured and it’s due to the actions of someone else, you are entitled to seek compensation, now is a good time to consultant a Medical Negligence Solicitor

* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.”