Gardaí are looking into how a photo of a young transgender woman, apparently taken while in garda custody, was posted online by alt-right website Gript. According to a report in the Herald, she was due to be released from a secure unit earlier in the week. Authorities were detaining her for mental health reasons.
It’s understood that she has been in the care of the state for most of her life.
The website has claimed that it publicised the details due to the danger posed by the woman. In an article published on 26 September, Gript editor John McGuirk wrote that she “is a threat to women”. And given this, he decided to share her details.
Amongst the information he published are her name as well as a photo of her that appears to have been taken while in garda custody. McGuirk wrote that the picture was “taken from a Garda pulse [sic] warning”, although this has yet to be confirmed.
The Beacon contacted the Garda Press Office about the article. A spokesperson said that gardaí are “aware of certain material currently published online which purports to emanate from An Garda Síochána”.
As a result, gardaí are “making enquiries into the origin of this information”.
If the leak is legitimate, The Beacon understands that it would be a considerable breach of privacy.
In January it was revealed that Gript is working alongside a company linked to Cambridge Analytica to harvest the details of visitors to the website. According to the Irish Times, the company, AggregateIQ (AIQ), was suspended from Facebook in 2018. This was because it had “‘improperly received’ Facebook user data”.
The leak also appears to be in line with tactics laid out in a far-right strategy document anonymously uploaded earlier this year. It’s argued in the document that far-right activists must use garda, military, and civil service contacts “strategically” to further their ends.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons – TheDigitalArtist