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Dublin: 10°C Monday 17 May 2021

Law Society to investigate 'tits and filth' WhatsApp group about female students

‘Offensive’ content was allegedly circulated among male students at Blackhall Place.

An investigation is underway into an 'offensive' WhatsApp group at the Law Society of Ireland
An investigation is underway into an 'offensive' WhatsApp group at the Law Society of Ireland
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THE LAW SOCIETY of Ireland has launched an investigation into a messaging group which is alleged to have targeted female students attending courses at the solicitors’ training body.

A number of messaging services have been blocked from the wifi network at the Law Society after inappropriate content is reported to have been circulated among male students, including in a WhatsApp group titled ‘tits and filth’.

Counselling and training is being provided to students at the Law Society as a result of the allegations, and the body says it is taking the claims “extremely seriously”.

In a general email to trainee students, Director of Education at the Law Society TP Kennedy said that an investigation was now underway into the allegations.

He wrote:

The content of these posts is highly offensive and has given rise to profound ethical concerns. Several students have provided us with details of these groups and we are investigating them.
These messages have caused deep distress to many students. This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated and has no place on a professional training course.

Kennedy also told trainees that they were subject to the same rules and regulations as practising solicitors regarding their ethical behaviour.

He warned students that posting inappropriate content could bring the legal profession into disrepute and raise concerns as to whether those involved in generating or circulating such content were “fit and proper” to be admitted as solicitors.

In a statement, the Law Society said it was “appalled” to learn about the allegations and said it had taken immediate action to thoroughly investigate the claims.

“The Law Society takes these allegations extremely seriously and, if they are proven to be true, disciplinary action will be taken,” a spokeswoman said.

“We have taken immediate action by reminding students of their responsibilities and ethical obligations.

“The Law School’s counselling service is providing additional supports and services to students in light of this incident. In addition, we have suspended access to private messaging groups in the Law School.”

Established in 1830 and based at Blackhall Place in Dublin, the Law Society is the educational, representative and regulatory body of the solicitors’ profession in Ireland.

It has a range of functions, including the education of legal professionals, the regulation of the legal profession, dealing with disciplinary matters and protecting solicitors’ clients.

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