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Gardaí in East Cork are urging parents to exercise caution and take note of their children’s Facebook accounts, after inappropriate advances were made to three young girls online.
Complaints were made to gardaí in Youghal this week by the mother and the children involved, believed to be in their early teens.
“There is an investigation ongoing at present,” said a Garda spokesperson.
“Technical data and requests have been made in order for our investigations to continue. The nature of the complaint means that it will take time to process any requests we have.”
Gardaí have contacted the social media company to gain access to certain information in order to continue with the criminal investigation. They are currently awaiting feedback.
“The problem with Facebook is that anyone can create a profile,” said the spokesperson.
“Just because it says a name, does not necessarily mean it is that person. No more than if a threatening text message is sent from your mobile phone, that that message came from you.”
It’s understood the teenagers were contacted online and were asked to meet up. The three girls are local to the Youghal area and the advances were made by a single account. The mothers and teenagers were described as “distressed” by the incidents.
“We would urge parents to monitor their children’s Facebook pages as much as possible without breaching trust with their children. We would also urge parents to make children aware of the dangers that are present online.”
Meanwhile a garda checkpoint Facebook page that falsely posted the death of a driver last week had been "hacked” and turned into a “controversial humour page for 18s and over”.
However, as of Wednesday the page has been deleted. Online users had complained of the nature of the page which featured pictures and comments regarding numerous topics and people, including Madeline McCann.
The page’s administrator had contacted the Cork Independent via Facebook last Thursday to explain his side of the original posting of a driver death in Ballycotton.
“I have tried putting my story across the page and all I got back saying I was lying," read the message to the Cork Independent.
"My wife had a child and as you know, when they're born you are totally focused on them. So I had no time for the page and **** (name of person who took the page over) was controlling (it) for about two weeks and was doing a good job until he put up that status. I have tried to express my sorrow but that doesn't seem to work.”
Attempts to contact the original administrator after the site went rogue on Sunday evening were unsuccessful and the new administrator proceeded to abuse the Cork Independent reporter and other people posting on the page.
A new page has now been set up for garda checkpoints in the county Cork area, complimenting the original garda checkpoints page which deals with the city and county. The administrator of that page insists that he has no connections with the previous page but decided to establish it after what was being posted by the ‘rogue’ administrator.