Young people’s experience of the internet in Ireland is predominantly a mobile one, mediated by the use of smartphones and other mobile devices. 72% of Irish children (aged 9 to 16) use the internet daily at home using a range of mobile and smart devices. Domestic access to the internet (in own bedroom or elsewhere at home) increases with age, rising from 53% of 9-10 year-olds to 92% of younger teenagers. Mobile internet users are much more likely to use the internet at home every day (93% for smartphone users and 95% for tablet users) than children who don’t use smartphones or tablets to go online (52%).Irish parents engage more in active mediation of internet safety (87%), making it the most common intervention by parents and much higher than the European average (77%).
In terms of the ‘ladder of opportunities, 9-16 year olds may be classified as “low use-some risks”. Promoting wider integration of digital technologies and internet content are key recommendations in order to enhance opportunities available to young people, deepen their appreciation of safe and responsible behaviour and extend the range of more advanced and creative uses of rapidly evolving new technologies.
- EU Kids Online findings have informed a number of policy initiatives, including the formation of a government task force on internet safety. EU Kids Online has been used as reference data by the Office for Internet Safety and the Safer Internet Ireland project, Webwise.ie
- Brian O'Neill is a member of the Internet Safety Advisory Committee which acts as a multi-stakeholder forum within the Office for Internet Safety. He also chaired the Internet Content Governance Advisory Group reporting to the Minister for Communications on future arrangements for internet safety and governance.
- EU Kids Online participated in the Government of Ireland’s Open Policy Debate in 2018 to inform a national Action Plan on Online Safety.
Brian O’Neill is Director of Research, Enterprise and Innovation at Dublin Institute of Technology. His research focuses on the policy context for children in the digital environment. In 2018, in conjunction with EU Kids Online and Insafe, he led the mapping of safer internet policies in European Member States as part of the Better Internet for Kids Policy Map project. In 2014, he undertook an independent assessment of internet safety for 16 companies represented in the ICT Coalition for Children Online. In a national context, he serves on Ireland's Internet Safety Advisory Committee. He also chaired the Irish government’s task force on Internet Content Governance, reporting to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. His current work commissioned by the Office of the Children’s Ombudsman is on the role of digital and social media in supporting children’s right to be heard. He is the co-author of Towards a Better Internet for Children? Policy Pillars, Players and Paradoxes (2014).
Thuy Dinh is Senior Research Assistant at Centre for Social and Educational Research, Dublin Institute of Technology. She holds a PhD in Sociology from University of Essex, UK (2009) where she studied the pattern of maternity care in impoverished socio-economic settings. She has been engaged with various research projects related to children, families and communities in Asia and Europe in last 15 years. In the last six years, she worked on a number of European projects through the “Digital Childhoods” program at the CSER, including exploration of children’s use of the internet, identifying patterns of use, as well as potential risks and opportunities technology provides. In 2016, she led a study commissioned by European Schoolnet (EUN) with support of the Kaspersky Helpline Fund of Insafe Helplines, Operations, effectiveness and emerging issues for internet safety helplines.