Seanad debates

Friday, 18 December 2020

Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017: Committee and Remaining Stages


10:00 am

Mary Seery Kearney (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I want to raise a point that Senator Murphy's contribution brought to mind. My husband has had the experience of being discussed on Facebook in the context of him carrying out his job in employment law, and prosecuting through the Workplace Relations Commission, which, in the grand scale of all that is possible, one would imagine to be most innocuous. However, that context resulted in a conversation on Facebook that would emerge every couple of months as to “Where would we procure bullets?”, “What would we do?” or “How would we...?”, and this discussion was about and around him. We complained to Facebook and Facebook took it down, but the Garda did not have enough to be able to pursue it in that context.

My question is similar to that of Senator Doherty. That was a conversation about my husband, not with him. Consequently, is there no way of it being covered? It is a lost opportunity, given how technology has moved on and the possibilities of harassment have moved on.


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