Barrister calls for introduction of revenge porn offence



Fergal Crehan BL
Fergal Crehan BL

An Irish barrister has called for the introduction of a specific offence related to revenge porn, the Sunday World reports.

Fergal Crehan BL, with expertise in privacy and data protection law, said new legislation should be introduced to deal with an increasing number of complaints.

It follows a similar move in Northern Ireland, where MLAs earlier this year approved provisions of the Justice (No. 2) Bill which criminalise the disclosure of private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress.

Mr Crehan said: “This is a type of invasion of privacy where intimate photos or videos of a person are shared or pub­lished online without their consent.

“It can be pictures swiped off a Facebook page and placed in a kind of pornographic context without them knowing. It all comes under the heading of an invasion of privacy.

“I’m getting queries about it more than once or twice a month. It’s all from women. We should have a criminal offence along the lines of what they have in England but there should also be steps you can take to get the photo taken down and destroyed.

“If your personal data is being used in a way that causes you distress you do have the right to have it stopped within 20 days, but that is a 1988 law and in 20 days your life could be ruined in this day and age.”

He added: “We need to look at tightening that way back to five days. I think there also needs to be a fine or some sort of a punishment.

“I think it also should be open to people not only to prosecute someone who does this to them but to sue them for damages.”