Aontú will introduce a Bill to the Dáil today seeking to make the online provision of pornography by internet companies to children illegal. The party leader says that some 60% of teen boys are now seeing porn before the age of 13.

Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín said the Bill will be introduced and discussed at 1st stage in the Dáil this evening.

“The danger that the proliferation of online pornography poses to our children is one that has gone unchecked for far too long. The proliferation of pornography in just that last few years in Ireland has been immense,” he said.

Today eight and nine year olds have access to hard core explicit materials that would have been illegal to be viewed by adults just a generation ago. Research at the School of Psychology, NUI Galway has shown that almost 60% of teenage boys living in Ireland see porn before the age of 13. Pornography has become so easily accessible that many parents feel it is virtually impossible for them to exercise control over what their children are consuming.”

“Access to pornography is sexualising children at a far younger age. It can radically alter their perceptions of sex, their own understandings of healthy relationships and can lead to physical and mental health problems. In certain cases it can lead to addiction. Pornography often contains scenes of violence and aggression. There is significant evidence showing that some young children viewing this kind of material will act it out on other children. Research also indicates that pornography can lead to violence against women and children. Indeed, we know of children who have been exposed to thousands of highly graphic images have been involved in aggravated sexual assault and murder,” the Aontú leader said.

“FF and FG in government has dragged its feet with regards banning the provision of this material to children. We in Aontú have drafted a bill that is a first step in the right direction. Our Bill will force the government to make regulations that ensure that children in the state cannot view pornographic material on the internet. Our bill also deals with enforcement of the law and offence provisions. We urge other political parties to ensure that this Bill can make it through the Oireachtas.”