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Groups to tackle Ireland's 'remiss' protection of children online

Representatives from tech giants Google and Facebook, children’s charities and the gardaí are meeting today in Dublin to discuss the risks posed to children by the internet.

A third of all online users are children, and experts will have a debate on the challenges that this poses and what action needs to be taken.

"We have been really remiss in Ireland and way behind the times in protecting children and adults online; we should have taken this action 10 years ago," said Tanya Ward from the Children's Rights Alliance.

The Minister for Communications Denis Naughten says online safety is a major challenge, stating that the same exploitation which occurs in the offline sector is also occurring online.

"The reality is that the people who want to exploit children will use every loophole possible," he said.

Grainia Long from the ISPCC says parents also have a role to play.

"Make the decision as a parent, with your child is possible, how long they spend online, who they talk to online, and set those ground rules in place," she said.