News & Media

Bill to tackle Online Harassment must become law

11 September 2020

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Brexit, Northern Ireland and Justice
  • Petition to be handed into Dáil next week, Wednesday 16th at 11am.
  • Labour to restore Harassment Bill to the Dáil order paper next week.
  • Government must move quickly to bring forward amendments and make it law.

There is a pressing need to tackle online harassment said Labour Justice spokesperson Brendan Howlin, commending Jackie Fox for her powerful campaign in honour of her daughter Coco, and the testimony of Chelsea Farrell on Today with Claire Byrne, and said passing his Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill into law must be a priority for the government.

Deputy Howlin said.

“I want to pay tribute to the two-year long campaign by Jackie Fox in support of Coco’s law, and the testimony of Chelsea Farrell on Today with Claire Byrne today about the impact of online harassment.

“I am determined that my Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill, that we have called ‘Coco’s Law’ in honour of Nicole, will be passed by the Dáil as soon as possible. Next week Jackie will hand in her petition to the Dáil, and I am working to ensure the bill will be restored to the Dáil order paper, and progress made quickly on amendments from the government.

“The testimonies from those that have come forward illustrate the urgent need for changes in the law and I’ve been seeking this for over three years now. The new government has agreed to continue to implement my Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill and I will be seeking rapid progress on it now.

“Since I first published this draft law I have been taken aback at the many stories shared with me by families, victims and survivors of bullying and abuse online. It’s time now for action from the government."