13 Iúil 2021, 16.15

The Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport and Media will meet tomorrow, Wednesday, 14 July, for separate engagements with An Garda Síochána and Samaritans Ireland.

The meeting at 3.30pm in Committee Room 4 of Leinster House will be split into two sessions.

·       Session 1 from 3.30pm-4.40pm – John O’Driscoll, Assistant Commissioner Organised and Serious Crime, An Garda Síochána, for discussion on matters relating to online safety.

·       Session 2 from 4.45pm-5.30pm – Representatives of Samaritans Ireland, Ciaran Moore, Helpline Manager, and Louise Hamra, Policy Officer, for pre-legislative scrutiny of the General Scheme of the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill 2020.

Committee Cathaoirleach Deputy Niamh Smyth said: “The Committee welcomes this opportunity to engage with An Garda Síochána on how the service polices online bullying, harassment and other harmful activity to protect children and other vulnerable people. We look forward to a wide-ranging discussion on online safety and related matters with Assistant Commissioner O’Driscoll.

“In our second session, the Committee will discuss the Online Safety and Media Regulation Bill with Samaritans Ireland, which runs a 24-hour emotional support helpline for people who are struggling to cope. The Committee would like to hear from the Samaritans how the definition of online harmful content which can impact so significantly on an individual’s mental health and wellbeing might be addressed within the scope of the Bill.”

The Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport and Media has 14 Members, nine from the Dáil and five from the Seanad.

The meeting in Committee Room 4 can be viewed live on Oireachtas TV.

Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices.

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