Wednesday, 14 July 2021
Ceisteanna - Questions
Deputy Kelly raised a key issue. I agree that we must engage with the social media companies in respect of the appalling racist abuse online because it is unacceptable. I engaged with the companies prior to becoming Taoiseach. I salute the Dublin team the Deputy mentioned for walking off the pitch. That is the kind of initiative we require to deal with this, once and for all. What happened after the final of Euro 2020 was shocking. I do not know what it is with the online world but certain people change their personalities online. The hate and bile is shocking and must stop. I support the Irish soccer team in what they did in their game against Hungary. They were booed for it but I am proud of the Irish soccer team for taking that initiative. The Oireachtas should work together on a collective basis to make this behaviour intolerable. Threatening people, hate mail and the homophobic material online, to which the Deputy referred, are absolutely unacceptable and simply must stop.
Deputy Tóibín asked about historic funding of local authorities. The Minister has certain mechanisms he can use, including equalisation and so on. There is a new reform programme in respect of policing and it is changing how the Garda is operating.