Fianna Fáil’s Communications Spokesperson Timmy Dooley has said that he simply cannot understand why Minister Denis Naughten has reportedly refused to respond to those concerned about the Digital Age of Consent but is happy to dish out information to commercial lobbyists.

Deputy Dooley was commenting after being informed that the Minister has so far refused to respond to concerns from the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) on the proposed Digital Age of Consent (DAoC).

“I’m led to believe that the RCPI sent in a submission to the Minister advocating for the DAoC to be set at 16 rather than at 13.

“To date, they have heard nothing from the Minister, and I understand that neither the Minister nor his colleague, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan have made their submission public or shared with the Justice Committee.

“This is all the more galling when one considers the ease at which Minister Naughten gave information to a commercial lobbyist working for a media company.

“I believe that most people would be of the belief that the Minister should be listening to experts in the field of paediatric medicine on this issue. The very least he should have done would have been to respond to them and say that he received their submission.

“Minister Naughten needs to explain why he prioritises some lobbyists over others.

“It seems to me that there is a hierarchy of access when it comes to lobbyists and this government. Those who are of more benefit seem to get easier and quicker access than those who are doing lobbying for the right reasons,” concluded Dooley.