“A Giant Step Forward In Cyber Space”


Cyber psychologist Dr Mary Aiken

Further to 37-year-old Brendan Doolin, of Leighlin Road, Crumlin, Dublin,  being jailed in the Dublin Circuit Criminal yesterday for three years…

After he pleaded guilty to sending hundreds of abusive messages to six female writers and journalists – Sarah Griffin, Kate McEvoy, Sinead O’Carroll, Christine Bohan, Roe McDermott and Aoife Barry – over six years, between May 2012 and February 2018…

And whom the court heard had only left his home twice in the 17 years preceding the Garda investigation into him…

Cyber psychologist Dr Mary Aiken told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland:

“I think it’s [the case] is a major breakthrough, I think it’s a step forward in the real world and a giant step forward in cyber space.

“I think for the first time it’s an example of consequences for these types of behaviour online, these types of behaviour in cyber space.

“The point is that deterrent is a central principle in terms of any criminal justice system and that works on the premise that the threat of punishment will deter people from committing crime and reduce the probability and level of offending in society.

“This case is now showing that there are consequences for the offender’s behaviour and, hopefully, going forward, deterrent as a principle will work.”

Meanwhile, the six women whom Mr Doolan targeted have released a joint statement saying:

“Brendan Doolin’s campaign of harassment against us went on for years.

“We hope this case shows other men and women in this situation that what they say will be taken seriously if they come forward, and that online harassment is harassment and will be treated as such.

“We hope Brendan Doolin receives the help and rehabilitation he needs.

“We’d like to thank Detective Garda Colm Gallagher and his colleagues at the Cyber Crime Unit for their painstaking work on, and sensitive approach to, this case.”

Listen back in full here

Previously: Troll’s Three-Year Toll

Pic: RTÉ/YouTube

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19 thoughts on ““A Giant Step Forward In Cyber Space”

  1. Jeffrey

    6 years and they thank the guards? How was it left for so long? Did they only start complaining seriously recently? Genuine question because it would be very easy and fast to track down an individual based on IP information…

    1. Cian

      Not really. IP (v4) addresses aren’t unique.

      Odds are, if you check your ip address on your local device [PC/phone] it is either 198.162.x.x or 172.16.x.x (just like everyone else).

      If you check it on a site like https://whatismyipaddress.com/ is will tell your “public” IP address – which you share with everyone in your company/broadband provider/phone provider.

  2. Tomm

    Interesting how Mary Aiken went from working in PR with Aiken promotions to only recently reinventing herself as a cyber psychologist and getting herself on the airwaves at every opportunity.

    1. Richard Marxism

      someone who is on the airwaves at every opportunity and yet has never been properly scrutinised probably has a very fast PR & legal team, able to frighten off every journalist in the town

  3. some old queen

    Only leaving the house twice in 17 years is some seriously messed up poo- that fella is not well. I wonder was he ever on here?

  4. Treasa

    Hear hear, good enough for him. But, seriously, Mary, “cyber space”? “Cyber’? “Space”? 1995 called … etc.

      1. italia'90

        He’ll get his ecdl in record time I’d say ;)

        Mind you, he better be careful porting into his…. ehh… ‘puter so he doesn’t get a virus :o

  5. Smith

    Is a prison sentence really appropriate for someone, obviously with mental health issues, who has only left his house twice in the last 17 years? Would community service not be more rehabilitative?

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