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Law Society claims 'tits and filth' WhatsApp group contained no reference to female students

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

Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place, Dublin
Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place, Dublin
Image: Google Street View

THERE WERE NO references to female students found in a WhatsApp group being investigated by the Law Society of Ireland.

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

The group was alleged to have targeted female students attending courses at the solicitors’ training body. 

The Law Society of Ireland launched an investigation into the matter last week and said that it was taking the claims “extremely seriously”. 

In a statement today, it confirmed that while the investigation into the private messaging group by a small number of students is not yet finished, a review of the contents of the WhatsApp group has been completed. 

“The Law Society remains very concerned about students engaging in any appropriate messaging on WhatsApp or otherwise,” the statement said. 

However, the Law Society confirmed that the WhatsApp group “does not contain references to any female students”. 

“Once the investigation has been completed the Law Society will determine what further disciplinary steps are required.” 

In a general email to trainee students last week, Director of Education at the Law Society TP Kennedy said that an investigation was 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.

Counselling and training is being provided to students at the Law Society as a result of the allegations.

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.

With reporting by Stephen McDermott 

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