Thursday, 17 December 2020
Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017: Report and Final Stages
I support this amendment. We are trying to deal with a serious issue. As Deputy Pringle has alluded to, the relevant images might be years old and, for some reason, they may appear ten years later. One might not know for a number of years that such an image is circulating and one might find out by accident, or whatever way it happens. I am confused as to why we need a sunset clause. The two-year limit seems a small window. The images may be hidden or stored away somewhere and then dusted down and used as intimidation or threats and eventually released. It could take a long time and a lot of damage could be done in the meantime when a victim does not know the images are there or what is in them. It is important that there is not an expiry date for a person to make a complaint or for a prosecution to take place. I would like to hear the Minister of State's explanation on this point.