Bruton: New laws may be required to protect children online

Child protection experts have warned that children are at huge risk from predators

Bruton: New laws may be required to protect children online

Cyberbullying

The Education Minister says legislation may need to be changed to protect children using smartphones.

A leading child protection expert wants a nationwide ban on such devices for children under 14.

Dr Mary Aiken says teenagers are at huge risk from predators - and phones should not be given as First Communion presents.

Minister Richard Bruton says it is up to local school management on whether smartphones are allowed or not.

But he says he is open to proposals on the issue:

It comes as a Dublin man was jailed for seven-and-a-half years for targeting and coercing 15 young girls to send him explicit photos of themselves.

26-year-old Matthew Horan of St. Johns Crescent in Clondalkin, Dublin 22 also admitted possessing and distributing child abuse images and videos.

He was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years in prison with the final two suspended.

Reporting form Paul Quinn and Frank Greaney ...