Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Jim O’Callaghan has condemned a series of threats made against a Garda on social media in recent days.

Deputy O’Callaghan said, “I have seen these sinister and threatening posts on social media. They are completely unacceptable and serve to highlight the intimidation and harassment that Gardaí are subjected to by a small minority as they go about doing their jobs.

“This has been a growing problem and is certainly not the first time that individual Gardaí have been targeted by a coordinated campaign of intimidation on social media. People would not tolerate these sorts of threats being made against someone on the street, and there is no reason why it should be tolerated on social media.

“The Gardaí have a difficult job to do when they are required to police a situation where there are competing rights. Last week we saw the right of people to protest competing with the right of a property owner to retain their property on foot of a court order. The Gardaí were stuck in the middle and were required to ensure public order was maintained.

“Anyone seriously threatening violence against a member of An Garda Síochána, or indeed any member of the public, needs to be investigated and charges need to be brought if appropriate. This will require co-operation from social media companies who can no longer continue to hide behind the fiction that they are not joint publishers of these threats.

“It is important to recognise that the Gardaí have the support of the vast majority of the Irish people. This will not be affected by the anonymous rantings of individuals on social media who refuse to reveal their own identities. Those that abuse and harass people on social media must be held accountable for their actions.”