Wexford politicians urged not to post ‘deadly dangerous’ pictures with students

Cllr Bridín Murphy. Photo; Mary Browne

David LoobyNew Ross Standard

NEW ROSS district councillor Bridín Murphy has appealed to Co Wexford politicians to not post photos of themselves with pupils, having received a complaint from a parent on the matter.

Speaking at the May New Ross Municipal District meeting, Cllr Murphy said: “On the issue of child protection I have noticed in recent times a number of public representatives putting photos of children who are not their own up on social media. That is a huge child protection issue.”Cllr Murphy said doing this also constitutes a data breach.

“If it comes through our doors it will also be reported to the Data Protection Commission.”

She said even if parents give consent for their child to be photographed on school grounds, there has to be explicit detail regarding where the images can be shown. She said: “If you are at an event you do not take pics (of children) and put them on social media because these pics can be lifted and used by anyone who has access to the page.”

Parents have contacted Cllr Murphy furious about the matter, she said.

Cathaoirleach Cllr Michael Sheehan said there are strict protocols on school boards of management around child protection and the use of photos.

“If something like this is brought to their attention it is their duty to report it and all parents must be notified,” he said.

Cllr John Fleming said: “I totally agree. Putting up photos on social media is a no no at this stage. Myself and Pat Barden managed teams all our lives and you need to be careful non stop. 40, 50 years ago you could put five kids in a car but we have to protect our kids. It’s a big issue. I think everyone in public office would have to be aware of it and it’s deadly dangerous.”

Cllr Sheehan said parents consent is a must, particularly if the child is aged under 13.

“If the school authorises taking the pic for the school it’s fine.”