Politician allegedly inappropriately messaged teen party member using fake social media profile

Party states it took ‘immediate steps’ to report allegations to authorities

A political party has referred allegations that one of its politicians used a fake social media profile to inappropriately message an underage party member to Tusla, the State child and family agency.

In May a male teenage member of the political party made a disclosure to a senior party official, alleging a politician in the party had used an anonymous social media profile to inappropriately message him when he was an underage member.

The senior party figure advised the teenage member that the complaint was potentially of a criminal nature and said it should be reported to gardaí.

It is understood the teenager alleged the politician had started messaging him using an anonymous Twitter account when he was 16 years old.

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The party reported the disclosure to Tusla several days after the teenager made the allegations. A Tusla duty social worker advised party staff that the agency would share the information with gardaí, one source said.

In a statement, the political party said it was notified of an allegation in May “and took immediate steps” to report the disclosure to the relevant statutory authorities.

“The party takes allegations of this nature extremely seriously and strictly adheres to all of its safeguarding and reporting obligations,” it said. The party added it would not be commenting on the matter further.

The party also referred the allegations to An Garda Síochána. It is understood party officials took legal advice from a senior counsel following the teenager making the disclosure. The politician subject to the allegations has been contacted for comment.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times