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Plans to make 'revenge porn' a criminal offence go to Cabinet

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Minister Helen McEntee

Minister Helen McEntee

Minister Helen McEntee

Justice Minister Helen McEntee is to bring plans to Cabinet next week that will make it a criminal offence to share intimate photographs of people without their consent.

It follows the leak of tens of thousands of private images of an intimate and sexual nature involving Irish women, which has provoked calls for Government action.

Minister McEntee yesterday said she wants to see the legislation enacted "as soon as possible".

"I know the recent leak of tens of thousands of intimate images of Irish women has caused so much upset and anger," she said on Twitter.

"I share that anger and I want people to know that I am determined to act and to introduce tough new laws to ensure that anyone who shares these kinds of images will face serious criminal sanctions."

Ms McEntee said she is working with Labour TD Brendan Howlin, who introduced legislation under the Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill during the last Dáil.

"Ahead of this, I will bring proposals to Cabinet next Tuesday for inclusion in this Bill, which we want to enact as soon as possible," she said.

Measures

"The measures I will bring to Cabinet will make it a criminal offence to share intimate images without consent.

"This is not just about revenge porn - sharing such images will become a criminal offence, regardless of the motivation of the person who passes them on.

"It will also be irrelevant if consent is given for an intimate image to be taken - I will ensure they can never be shared, even if consent was given for the image to be taken."

Gardaí have said they are aware of the incident and that Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll, who heads Organised and Serious Crime within An Garda Síochána, has commenced "probative enquires" into the matter.

More than 50,000 people have so far signed an online petition calling for the sharing of such images to be made a criminal offence.

Images and videos were from websites and apps including Instagram, WhatsApp, OnlyFans and Tinder, many of which were taken without consent and some reportedly featuring underage girls.


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