Minister Joe McHugh
Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, has weighed in on the media storm caused by the misuse of a photograph of Longford students on social media.
Minister McHugh labelled the misuse of the photograph, which depicted students from St John’s NS Longford town, as ‘disgusting’.
He said, “The misuse of school photography - originally posted online as a celebration of all that is good in a school - is downright disgusting.
“Anyone who adopts a narrow minded view of diversity should be ashamed of themselves. Not least as we are a nation which for decades has seen some of our best and brightest people leave our shores in search of a better life.
“The experiences of the generations of Irish people abroad - good and bad - should be the basis for how we view a new Ireland that has welcomed people from across Europe, war torn parts of the world and others fleeing persecution, famine and injustice.”
Minister McHugh called on social media companies to take swift action and terminate any accounts promoting such nastiness.
He stated, “Social media companies have a duty to act here.
“There should be zero tolerance for this type of nastiness. Accounts which abuse the privilege of free speech and freedom of expression should be closed.” he concluded.
*The photo in question depicts students from St John’s National School, Longford, celebrating them for winning the Bord Na Móna ECO rangers competition. It was shared on Ms O’Doherty’s social media channels, but has now been removed due to numerous reports made over it’s misuse.*