Published: Tue, 05 February 2019
Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament and Ireland’s only Member of the Parliament’s Industry & Research Committee (ITRE), Sean Kelly, has called for a clampdown on online harassment, as part of International Safer Internet Day today.
Speaking in the European Parliament in Brussels this morning (Tuesday), Mr. Kelly warned against the dangers of the cyberbullying epidemic in Ireland and the ongoing risks faced by young Internet users in particular.
“Ninety per cent of Internet users aged 16 – 29 are online every single day. As social networking becomes increasingly popular, online bullying remains a deadly problem among children and young adults.
“Having campaigned for increased action against cyberbullying since my first appointment to Parliament in 2009, I am all too familiar with the grave consequences of online abuse”, warned the Ireland South MEP.
“I would urge young people not to engage with strangers or disseminate personal information on the Internet, and if faced with online bullying – do not take the problem in to your own hands. Tell a friend, a parent, a guardian or a teacher.”
“Tackling illegal, harmful and dangerous activity is crucial in the ever-evolving global network of the Internet. From speaking with school teachers, parents and young people throughout my constituency of Ireland South, I know that achieving safe Internet usage is a serious challenge.”
“Increased Internet access facilitates much more effective information exchange and communication around the country.”
“However, we need to ensure that the Internet can be used safely, by supporting awareness strategies targeted at children as well as parents and teachers. Ireland is part of the EU Safer Internet initiative, which I continue to promote both at home and in Brussels.”