Garda Commissioner Drew Harris urged elected councillors in county Mayo if they are on the receiving end of online threats and abuse on social media to immediately inform gardai.
Commissioner Harris told a meeting of Mayo Joint Policing Committee (JPC) in Castlebar on Friday that he is aware that public representatives are “getting more than their fair share of threats on social media”.
“If you are feeling threatened or are being abused in any shape or form immediately report it”, the Commissioner stated.
He continued: “The more we know about the messages an individual might be sending the greater the likelihood is of us actually apprehending the offender and bringing the matter to the DPP in respect of prosecution.
“If you get any messages that are threatening or abusive please report them straight away.
“We have a duty to protect democracy – we are here to protect those who are acting in our best interests as public representatives.”
Commissioner Harris made his comments in a question and answer session with members of Mayo County Council following a discussion on the new Garda operating model which will see Mayo amalgamated into one Garda division with Roscommon and Longford from next year.