Gardaí have confirmed that a file has been sent to the DPP in relation to the posting of racist material online by a man from Kerry.
“Promote The Use Of Knacker Babies As Bait” was set up by four men in their 20s and 30s from Killarney, two of whom worked at the time in the tourism industry.
CAPTION: Four anti-Traveller sites were removed by Facebook last year following complaints by community activists in the Republic and Northern Ireland. A file has now gone to the DPP in relation to one of the people behind one of the sites.
The file sent to the DPP is in relation to the ringleader and Gardai have not ruled out the possibility that others including Facebook Inc. which hosted the site may face charges.
Community workers in the Republic and Northern Ireland campaigned for weeks before the site and two others – which had garnered a fan-base of close to 10,000 over a year-long period – were removed last July by Facebook.
Sergeant Dave McInerney from the Garda Racial and Intercultural Office in Dublin confirmed the matter had been under investigation for some months and that a file in relation to one of the sites has now been sent to the DPP.
“No arrests were made but a number of individuals were questioned by Gardaí in Killarney as the file was being prepared. We received calls about the racist sites from all around the country,” he said.
He confirmed that if the case goes ahead, it will mark the first time that anyone is brought before the courts for publishing online racism.
Among those who filed the original complaints were members of Pavee Point, the Kerry Travellers Development Group and the Waterford Travellers Development Project. Each project is part of the Local and Community Development Programme which is committed to promoting equality and social inclusion and to challenging discrimination.
Pavee Point handed over evidence including the identities of close to a dozen people behind the sites.
A Traveller woman and community activist from Co. Kerry, Mary Boyne from Killarney said at the time, “We must make it our business to see that all members of Facebook who participated in these hate sites be reported and prosecuted.”