Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Timmy Dooley has written to the Oireachtas Communications Committee requesting that the Chief Executives of all major digital communications companies attend to outline how they will protect children using their platforms.

Deputy Dooley added: “The reticence of the Taoiseach to establish a Digital Safety Commissioner seems to be driven by an apparent unwillingness to invest in protecting our children. I do not believe that a price can ever be put on our children’s safety, ever.

“In the absence of the Taoiseach, and the Minister, moving to establish such a Commissioner, I have requested that the CEOs of technology companies that provide communications services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Kik come before the committee.

“They must come forward and address the obvious threat to child safety and well-being that emanates from the use of these communications platforms.

“The internet is not the cause of these issues, but it is a catalyst for unacceptable and dangerous behaviour towards children and young people.

“Predatory behaviour by paedophiles and perverts is being buoyed by greater levels of online engagement among children and young people. Equally, there is a growing suite of evidence to suggest that social media is having a highly negative effect on the mental health and wellbeing of children.

“All of these companies derive massive revenues from children and their families in this country. The least they can do is come forward with real, implementable safety measures to protect our children,” concluded Dooley.