Fidelma: The Frape Tape




Fine Gael Senator Fidelma Healy Eames at the oireachtas hearing on social media.

Fidelma Healy Eames: “There is absolutely responsibility on parents and educators, but they cannot keep up with it. Take, for example, the form called ‘fraping’, where you’re raped on Facebook. Where a youngster has their status open and another person puts a message on there, as if they wrote it. And that message could be, for example, sexual. It goes out into the world as if they said it. This type of thing has to stop. There has to be some controls put in place here.
What about sexting? Where they are texting sexual images. Now I heard recently that that is a criminal offence. Can you verify that, Minister (Pat Rabbitte)? I also heard recently that no matter what you do on the internet, you leave a digital footprint and even if those images are erased, that they can be, or images, or text messages, is it true that they can be, em, found again? I want to ask you that question. Because everybody needs to work together here: parents, teachers, the youngsters.
And I believe, until we have a system minister, similar to what we have with the Press Ombudsman, for the print media and the broadcast media, we need some type of set of guidelines. We need some type of report, place to report it to. We do need to know that there’s sanctions there. I believe that, until we have that, the public aren’t going to be adequately educated or protected. And, minister, would you see it within your remit, minister, your responsibility, to ensure that there’s a set of guidelines there for people who have been hurt and damaged by social media. I am particularly thinking of our youngsters.
And somebody else referred to counsellors in schools. Well may I now say this to you, minister. I am quite familiar with counsellors, who are very, very busy because they’re trying to work with the youngsters that have been hurt as a result of abusive social media. So I absolutely take the good on board but while, no, I really want to say this, while the good is happening, around freedom…”

Chairman: “I know..but it’s for questions, now. We’re on very limited time.”

Healy Eames: “I’m finishing on this. We need to ensure that the abuse isn’t greater than the good, in the terms of the damage. And my final question, minister, is can we have a situation here where an identity, the identity of every user is registered with an IP address in this country? I am familiar with where IPs were registered in the United States and they couldn’t be tracked down. So thank you (chairman) for that opportunity.”

Script by Chris Morris.

Thanks Oireachtas Retort

116 thoughts on “Fidelma: The Frape Tape

        1. ReproBertie

          Wow! Jay the Senator has no idea what she is talking about in terms of digital footprints and putting controls on social media. To try and defend her obvious ignorance by throwing in a suicide story is beyond belief.

          Tell me, do you think was there bullying in Ireland before facebook? Was there suicide in Ireland before facebook? Will a misguided attempt to collect IP addresses prevent bullying or suicide in Ireland?

          1. Are we there yet?

            Surely facebook is to blame for all society’s ills… I didn’t swear, drink excessively or fornicate til Senor Zuckerberg stayed up all night on Red Bull and invented facefook!!

  1. charles charlie charles

    Ah, you cut it off just as the tough questions were being asked !! What’s your ID number Broadsheet, I’m reporting you to the head of the internet. Is Broadsheet even your name ?

  2. Zackersetu

    Yes … an ombudsman for people using the internet… policing the people if you will? What a radical idea! new thinking in a backwards world eh? What a woman (oh Jesus … i hope she doesn’t think that verges on the illegality that is sexting!!) I really should be careful what i text to my boyfriend now! No sexy talk at all…..ITS ILLLLLEGGGGALLLLL!!!

    I mean I know its a broad swipe, but can we just abolish Seanad for on reason and one reason alone ….. so she can feic off back to obscurity and the Gin and Slimline fueled conversation of the Sunday night dance in the local pub (the one with the live music and the serious dancers who know 5 moves and link them endlessly to a covered Joe Dolan classic)

  3. curmudgeon

    Utterly embarrassing, not just for her but for Irish politics in general. The scrapping of the senate would be at least cathartic, alas another broken FG promise.

    1. Jay

      Im not sure why you think it is so? What exactly has she got wrong here? Do you know how many teens’s life are a leaving hell because of Social media?

      1. JC

        @ Jay

        10 ? 20 ?

        Do you know?

        Because she sure as hell doesnt. She doesnt even understand what she is talking about.

        1. Jay

          The answer is No one knows, for the very reason that there is nothing in place to police this!

          “She doesnt even understand what she is talking about.”

          Please explain

      2. D

        If a crime is being committed there’s more than enough existing laws to cover it. What do we need new regulation for?

          1. ReproBertie

            So introduce a new law to make it illegal for people to break existing laws? Genius.

          2. woesinger

            Jay – bullying has existed since there were people.

            Could you explain what it is about bullying via social media that makes it suddenly worth criminalising?

            Isn’t social media bullying easier to deal with since everything the bully does is recorded?

            Do you regard prosecution and the criminalisation of young and immature people as the best way to deal with the issue of bullying?

            And, given all the above, do you also advocate criminalising off-line bullying?

          3. Marty

            Jay, Are you really Fidelma pretending to be Jay? You can’t be doing that. That’ll be against the law.

      3. Evil_g

        Nobody’s life is a living hell because of social media. They’re lives are a living hell because of the behaviour of real people in the real world.

        It’s utterly embarrassing because blaming social media is like blaming the telephone.

        (Something else she got wrong is apparently believing that fraping actually involves some sort of sexual assault)

      4. tony

        Absolutely none! Their lives are hell because of bullies, and that’s an old problem, and one which has never been properly tackled.

  4. Cobweb

    There should also be an ombudsman for train fare and road tax dodgers, and for people who won’t pay tradesmen for work done.

    1. Karl Monaghan

      No Jay, she hasn’t.

      To re-iterate points already made here:
      * There are already laws that cover cyberbullying (or as normal people call it, bullying)
      * She proposing draconian surveillance on a scale similar to that of regimes such as China
      * She has no idea what ‘fraping’ actually is
      * She has no idea what sexting is
      * She has previous form for giving out about technology (Again taking a leaf out of the Chinese government playbook and demanding a timelimiter placed on consoles)
      * She’s obviously not asked anyone who knows anything about how the internet works about any of this

    2. ck

      “There is a crisis around what Fidelma is bringing up”. What the hell does that mean? Speak English for god’s sake.

    3. Zackersetu

      That tragic event although having an connection is however, objectively, an issue which goes beyond the cyber-issue to the core of our country’s approach to bullying in all its forms and suicide prevention/awareness as a whole.

      Fidelma is waving about “facts” that she probably read on the Iona Institute’s website, heavily influenced by wikipedia and the google machine!

      This area needs clarity, not crazy ill-informed hysteria from the like of her.

  5. Scatman John

    I, for one, am glad that they have such knowledgeable people discussing the use of social media

  6. Del McG

    Our children are LITERALLY living in a parallel universe? Holy hour! Here’s hoping they at the very least paid the correct train fare to get there, eh Fidelma?

    1. Jay

      Indeed they are. For having witness it first hand, the type of convo and actions that goes on social networks are a way off from reality or at least from what teens do “in real life”. Ignorance is king today?

      1. droid

        But if it’s in a literal parallel universe then nothing we can do will affect them. They’re trapped there and we are here in a separate hubble volume within the multiverse.

        Yknow, like the TV show, ‘sliders’.

        1. Mani

          As we speak, the fat kid from Stand By Me is getting fraped by Saleh from Raiders of the Lost Ark. O the humanity.

  7. Hank

    At 0:46, she says “No matter what you do on the internet, you leave a digital fuckprint”

    I had no idea..

  8. doctorfive

    In fairness to Fidelma. Her unique grasp of things is obscuring the wall of ignorance displayed by all corners today.

    Notice though her concern about tracing things the US where nothing could be done. This the same Senator off to America with same people who may or may not have been behind the robocalls

  9. Dza

    More women in politics they said, be grand they said, things would be different they said.. Etc etc

    1. Elimare

      What has her being a woman got to do with it? Ignorance about a topic you are supposed to be knowledgeable on transcends the sexes.

    2. doctorfive

      Yes the problem is gender and not that they’re politicians. Incidentally the membership of this Committee is one woman and twenty men, twenty.

      FHE is not one of them and needed special permission to speak today.

      1. tracks

        No, you don’t need special permission – any Oireachtas member can attend any public committee meeting and speak, though its probably custom & practice that they inform the Chairperson

  10. Joe

    That’s why she’s cant get a ticket for the train or pay her car tax, she totally doesn’t know what the internet is.

    1. ineverthoughtidenduphere

      Now joe that’s unfair, train tickets & car tax were invented before the internet..

    1. Dmitry Karamazov

      The Shatner’s Basoon which is the part of the brain that deals with time perception. So a second feels like a month. It almost sounds like fun, unless of course you are the Prague schoolboy who was knocked over while high on Cake. He thought he had a month to cross the street!

    2. WheresMyBottleOfRum

      Paedophiles have more genes in common with crabs than they do with you and me.”Now that is scientific fact there’s no real evidence for it — but it is scientific fact

  11. Goose

    As long as she doesn’t go and type “google” into google…. that’ll ruin the internet for everyone…….

  12. seriously sam


    That was painful to listen to, but worth it for the bumper ending question on IPs.

    So if they’re registered in America they can’t be tracked down? But…But…But…isn’t IANA ( in the US?

    Maybe we could give people IP addresses instead of passports.

  13. ck

    she eliminates the solution right there in her opening sentence where she absolves parents and educators because they “cannot keep up with it”. It’s you your children, it is your duty to keep up with the world around you so you can explain it to them not expect some fat knob in the dail to do it for you.

    1. Stewart Curry

      She’s not really a “detail-orientated” or “basic understanding of how things work” or “consequences” kind of person. Like her rant about video games needing “some class of a microchip” it’s all about the Helen Lovejoys.

    2. Western Pig Dog

      It really is that simple. Children should not be given unfettered or unmonitored access to the Internet. To leave them at it is to be a failed parent.

  14. AmeliaBedelia

    And apparently paedos are using an area of the internet the size of Ireland. There is no real evidence for it but it is scientific fact. Something must be done. NOW.

  15. Continuity Jay-Z

    Matthew Hopkins, Witchfinder General would have such a boner for her. He really would.

  16. Cormac

    does anyone else remember that the internet is a series of tubes? It’s not only ireland…

  17. Meredith

    Several Fine Gael members of the Oireachtas who are opposed to the government’s plan to legislate for abortion are flying to America on a “fact-finding mission” paid for by a pro-life group and the taxpayer.

    Senators Fidelma Healy Eames and Paul Bradford have confirmed they will be on the trip organised by Family & Life to coincide with St Patrick’s Day.

    Terence Flanagan, a backbench TD, is also scheduled to go but did not return calls seeking comment last week.

    Paschal Mooney, a Fianna Fail senator, has been invited but has not decided yet whether he will go.

    Healy Eames revealed Family & Life will pay for the trip to New York and Washington, which she said was “a search for truth”.

    The elected representatives involved are also planning to promote the Gathering, the government’s tourism initiative

    Family & Life are another Capel Street/Nic Mhathúna oufit

  18. Meredith

    Fidelma Healy Eames to repay cost of Africa flights paid for by State

    GALWAY senator Fidelma Healy-Eames is expected to reimburse the cost of flights to Africa for her husband, paid for by a state agency, within ” a couple of weeks”.

    Ms Healy-Eames was invited to Rwanda by Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Ireland, and her husband, Michael, has also gone on the trip.
    The VSO also paid for the couple’s flights to Kenya, where they are taking a hotel break at their own expense — but the cost of these flights will be refunded to the VSO.

    Ms Healy-Eames carried out the voluntary work as part of the ‘Politicians for Development’ programme and was advising a minister in Rwanda on early childhood education, while her husband gave business advice to an organic farm.

    Ms Healy-Eames could not be contacted for comment last night but she told the ‘Sunday Independent’ she will “balance the books” on her return as part of an agreement reached with VSO prior to her trip.

    Malcolm Quigley, of the VSO, also said this had been agreed. “We pay in advance and the spouse reimburses,” he said. “We do this all the time.”

    Other politicians who have participated in the development programme include Leo Varadkar, junior minister Sean Sherlock, former Fianna Fail TD Chris Andrews, Labour TD Dominic Hannigan, and Fianna Fail senator Mark Daly.

  19. Meredith

    Senator Fidelma Healy Eames gets another free holiday at the taxpayers expense.

    Senators Fidelma Healy Eames and Paul Bradford have confirmed they will be on the trip organised by Family & Life to coincide with St Patrick’s Day, part- subsidised by the taxpayer.

    Several Fine Gael members of the Oireachtas who are opposed to the government’s plan to legislate for abortion are flying to America on a “fact-finding mission” paid for by a shadowy pro-life group and the taxpayer. They will be fundraising for the Life Institute and Youth Defence while in America. ( Sunday Times front page news story, Sunday 3rd March).

    Yet another free holiday for Senator Fidelma Healy Eames who seems to believe that the sole function of Government is to provide free trips for her and her family.

    Terence Flanagan, a backbench TD, is also scheduled to go but did not return calls seeking comment last week.
    Paschal Mooney, a Fianna Fail senator, has been invited but has not decided yet whether he will go.
    Healy Eames revealed Family & Life will pay for the trip to New York and Washington, which she said was “a search for truth”.

    Family & Life are another Capel Street/Nic Mhathúna oufit ( Youth Defence / Life Institute).

  20. I'm Scared For Humanity

    She’s an idiot. “Could there be a system where we can register people to IP addresses?”

    No no no no no no. An IP address is used to identify a communications device within a network (i.e. a wi-fi device). In public areas like Starbucks, a public wi-fi is used, this means an IP address identifies a multitude of people. IP addresses can also be dynamic dependent on the pricing plan, and in houses, again, multiple people.

    The stupidity.

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