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Sunday 21 January 2018

Slane girl won't make complaint to gardai

'Extremely upset and distressed' teenager who performed sex act at concert is due back at school and wants to get on with her life


The 17-year-old girl at the centre of an internet bullying storm after images of her performing a sex act went viral online has chosen not to make an official complaint to gardai.

The news comes after the schoolgirl and her family met with detectives at her home in the west of Ireland to make a statement on Friday.

Gardai will return to meet the girl and her family again in the coming days, but it is thought that she will not seek to press ahead with the matter.

The girl, who is due to return to school in the coming days, is said to be "extremely upset and distressed" about the incident.

She has not gone into details about events on the day of the concert, although it was previously believed that she would provide a statement to gardai this weekend.

A source told the Sunday Independent: "I think at this stage she just wants to forget about it and get on with her life."

The young woman had travelled to the venue on a bus with a group of up to 30 revellers but became separated from her friends in the 82,000-strong crowd.

A photograph of the schoolgirl performing oral sex on a grinning man wearing a luminous green hat was taken in the grounds of Slane Castle last Saturday evening.

She was also pictured kissing the same man while he sexually touched her and giving oral sex to a different man on the same night.


A separate video taken on the day shows the 17-year-old girl being jeered and encouraged to perform sexual acts on a young man.

The incident was recorded on a mobile phone and uploaded to the internet in the days following the event.

In the two-minute video, the girl is seen kissing a young male in a maroon shirt while surrounded by a number of male and female teenagers or young adults.

Concertgoers can be clearly heard jeering the teenage girl and encouraging her to perform oral sex on the male.

A female asks "Does anyone actually know her?" before a male responds: "F**k, no."

The content was removed online when gardai contacted internet giants YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

But the disturbing images soon reappeared after social network users repeatedly posted fresh links of the video.

Their accounts have since been shut down, as has a 'slut-shaming' Facebook page making fun of the incident. Campaigners have warned that the sharing of explicit pictures is a "growing problem" that it is almost impossible to prevent due to the fast-moving nature of social networking.

Following the publication of the explicit photographs and video, online forums were full of abusive messages condemning and judging the girl.

In response, a Twitter trend #SlaneGirlSolidarity was started in support of the youngster.

More than 60 arrests were made at the concert for a variety of reasons including assault, drug possession and public order offences.

A garda source told the Sunday Independent: "For the most part, the event carried off without incident. Things like this often happen when a large number of young people are gathered. The only difference now is that everyone has a camera phone."

Over one billion camera phones were sold in 2011, while 41pc of Western Europeans now use their cameraphones at least once a week.

With 140 billion photographs now on Facebook, cyber-bullying campaigners are warning that this type of incident is increasingly common, especially as web users aim to damage the reputation of people they know by spreading photos of them in compromising positions.

British teenager Hannah Smith killed herself earlier this month after being mercilessly bullied by trolls on social network, leading to calls for greater action to tackle online abuse.

Sunday Independent

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