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I'd never snoop on children's Facebook -- Miriam

Miriam O'Callaghan has revealed she does not monitor her children's use of Facebook -- but said she is well aware of the dangers lurking on social networking sites.

The mum-of-eight was speaking in the wake of a warning to parents to pay more attention to the contents of their children's Facebook pages.

The advice was given as gardai launched an investigation into complaints that three teenage girls in Cork had been contacted by a man on Facebook.

But Prime Time host Miriam (52) has said that snooping on her children is the last thing she would do and added she prefers to offer advice to her children instead.

"I'm not that sort of person," the glamorous mum told the Herald.

"I would never read their Facebook, I wouldn't even look at their Facebook page, I've never read their diaries either. It's not who I am."

Miriam said she is aware of the case in Cork which is now the subject of a Garda investigation after an official complaint was lodged at Youghal station in Cork.

"I heard about the young girls from Cork and I thought it was awful," Miriam said. "I heard it on Morning Ireland when I was driving my 13 and 14-year-old boys to school.

"But I would never read or look at their Facebook accounts, but I did turn up the volume on the radio and I stared at them and I told them to listen," the former solicitor said.

"But they're teenagers so they both looked grumpily at me, as if to say 'ugh mum what's this?' I think making them aware of what's going on out there is important."

However, Miriam was adamant that keeping tabs on her children's Facebook accounts is not something she's prepared to do.

"Frankly, I've never been sufficiently worried to do something like that. God forbid, maybe if I was more concerned I would, but it's not something I have done or intend to do."

"I just try to make them wise," she said.

"I give them street-wise advice -- be sensible, be smart and don't talk to strange men on facebook."

Gardai have confirmed they are following "a strong line of enquiry" since the complaints were made in Cork.

They have sought the assistance of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Investigation Unit at the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

hnews@herald.ie


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