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Junior Minister Shane McEntee

Government makes move on cyber bullying in wake of shock Shane McEntee suicide

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Junior Minister Shane McEntee

The Irish government has made the first move to tackle cyber bullying on social network sites in the wake of the death of Junior Minister Shane McEntee.

The Meath deputy took his own life with his angry family adamant that internet abuse was a factor in his death.

Now McEntee’s close friend Enda Kenny, the Irish Prime Minister, has ordered an investigation into cyber bullying.

The move also follows the tragic deaths of Donegal sisters Shannon and Erin Gallagher who committed suicide within six weeks of each other.

A report on cyber bullying and the influence of social media websites like Twitter and Facebook on public debate will be compiled by a special meeting of the Oireachtas (parliamentary) Committee on Transport and Communications.

The group, set to begin the process next month under committee chairman Tom Hayes, can then recommend new legislation.

Hayes told the Irish Independent newspaper that cyber-bullying is a huge issue, particularly for young people.

He added; “This thing can’t be left go unchecked, where people can put up vile comments and get away with it.”

The paper states that an Oireachtas committee can produce reports and recommendations but they do not have to be acted upon by Government.

The committee can also call witnesses in before it. Hayes stated: “The aim is to produce a report that will help the Government if it wants to draw up legislation or regulations to deal with the issue.”

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