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Sunday 18 March 2018

Mother of bullied boy backs SIM card review

Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

THE mother of a young boy who was systematically bullied for almost a year via mobile phone has welcomed the government report calling for a review of the sale of SIM cards.

Gemma Langan, pictured below, and her husband Brian had presented a submission to the Oireachtas communications committee earlier this year.

They highlighted the ordeal suffered by their then 14-year-old son Harry, who was harassed for more than 10 months by his tormentor who used five different SIM cards to carry out the vendetta.

Earlier this year, the perpetrator, Brian Flynn, received a suspended sentence and fine after pleading guilty to the abuse.

Following the trial, the Langan family immediately began a campaign to change the legislation around the sale of SIM cards.

They want to see a reform in the law which would require anybody buying a card to produce identification, and a record kept of the owner of each SIM. This practice is already in place in a number of countries, including France and Germany.

As a result of their efforts, the Oireachtas report found the Government should examine best practice internationally for the registration of prepaid SIM cards, particularly with a view to preventing their use for "malicious and illegal purposes".

Mrs Langan – who described the 10-month harassment as a "living nightmare" – said she hoped the change in the legislation would be implemented quickly to protect other vulnerable children.

Irish Independent

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