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Monday 21 October 2019

'Absolute disgust' - female trainee solicitor reacts to contents of 'highly offensive' WhatsApp group

The Law Society is currently investigating a WhatsApp group named 'T*ts and Filth'

Controversy: The Law Society’s base in Blackhall Place, Dublin. Photo: Kyran O’Brien
Controversy: The Law Society’s base in Blackhall Place, Dublin. Photo: Kyran O’Brien

Gabija Gataveckaite

A female trainee solicitor has called the contents of ‘highly offensive’ messages from a WhatsApp group currently under investigation by the Law Society “disgusting” and “childish”.

Speaking on this morning’s Newstalk Breakfast programme, an unnamed trainee solicitor from Blackhall Place, Dublin 7, said that female students are disgusted at the revelations of the group, which was named ‘T*ts and Filth’.

"We’re not in secondary school, we’re not 16, we’re all in our mid to late 20s," she said.

"So the fact that this kind of behaviour is going on is, firstly it’s a little unbelievable but it’s also disgusting and it’s childish, it’s just extremely childish."

The student said that as the group chat is being investigated, students are now worried that some of the male students may hold sexist views.

"The general tone around Blackhall before that was fine, I mean, I had no issues with any of the male students there, they’re all very nice and we get on very well," she continued.

"I think that's what makes us worry now, are those thoughts there with some of the male students, are some of those sexist opinions there? And that is very worrying."

According to the trainee solicitor, some students are also anxious that in the future, they may be working alongside solicitors who are "misogynistic".

The student said that the Law Society needs to take a "hard stance" on the participants of the group and the person who set it up.

"I think there needs to be a hard stance on whoever sent such messages or whoever started that WhatsApp group because the person that started that WhatsApp group, started it with the sole purpose and that purpose is clearly to objectify women or demean women and that person clearly has sexist ideals," she said.

"If [the Law Society] single these kinds of acts out as unacceptable, that will set a tone for future students," she said.

She said that traditionally, the law profession was seen as a "boys' club" but that this had changed in recent years with more women coming into the industry.

"When you see things like this, it feels, like, right, we’ve gone back 20 years again, those same ideas are still here again, those same sexist opinions or ideas are in men’s heads and are still around the place and it’s very disheartening," she added.

A trainee employee of a major law firm is now being investigated over the "highly offensive" messaging group.

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