Gardaí say 'no evidence' sexual images of Irish women stolen

Gardaí say 'no evidence' sexual images of Irish women stolen

AN GARDA Síochána say there is no evidence of any crime in relation to reports of thousands of images of women who had their photos uploaded to a discord server without their consent.

Last week, advocacy group The Victims Alliance stated that that a large number of images of women and girls, some of whom are underage, had been shared without their consent on online forums including online messaging platform Discord.

Activists involved in the story state there were multiple folders which included child pornography, with some folders marked 'underage' or '16 yo'.

Co-founder of the Victims Alliance, Linda Hayden, told The Journal that one Discord server had an estimated 500 users who were sharing explicit images of girls and women without their consent.

The website later confirmed to the outlet that the server was permanently deleted and all those who were involved in the sharing of those images have been banned; meanwhile, Gardaí confirmed they were opening an investigation.

However, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has now told RTÉ News that Gardaí are not investigating any crimes in relation to the leaking of tens of thousands of images.

He stated that officers had searched through an estimated 10,000 images and found no images of child abuse.

He also stated that Garda have not received any complaints from anyone whose photographs have been leaked alleging image-based sexual abuse, coercion or harassment in relation to the images.

There was no evidence that hundreds of thousands of explicit photographs of Irish women had been stolen and released online without their consent, he added.

The advocates involved in the story strongly refute Commissioner Harris's findings and have indicated they will take it further.

Commissioner Harris urged anyone who believes they may have fallen victim to image-based sexual abuse to contact Gardaí.