Gardai Identifying Suspects In...

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Gardai Identifying Suspects Involved In Online Abuse Of Ryan Family

Niall Colbert
Niall Colbert

2:51 PM - 9 Oct 2019



The Garda Commissioner says officers are identifying suspects involved in online abuse directed at a family, who've been forced to leave Ireland after receiving a death threat.

The Ryan family were targeted with a series of racially-abusive messages after taking part in a recent supermarket ad.

Fiona Ryan, her partner Jonathan, who was born in Brazil, and their son Jonah are moving to England as they fear for their safety after receiving a series of racially abusive messages and death threats after appearing in a Lidl advert.

Speaking at the Gardaí's new Diversity and Integration Strategy, Commissioner Drew Harris says officers are investigating:

"Those incidents still remain under investigation. We remain in contact with the Ryan family.

We are now in the process of identifying individuals, identifying those we believe are suspects in terms of offences that may have been committed."

The 3 year strategy includes improved ways of reporting, with members undergoing specific diversity and hate crime training.

But Commissioner Harris says specific hate crime legislation would help:

"Undoubtedly hate crime being recognized in terms of the very corrosive effect it has on victims should have a legislative basis, and we would support that."

The Garda's new definition of hate crime is "any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person to, in whole or in part, be motivated by hostility or prejudice, based on actual or perceived age, disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender”.

*Reporting by Shane Beatty



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