Latest: School principal confirms three 'rape lists' on toilet walls

Update 6.05pm: The Principal of Davis College, Stephen Gilbert, has today confirmed that three 'rape lists' were circulated in the school.

“The list yesterday morning was the first time that it was brought to the attention of school management," he said.

"School management has now been made aware that there were two other lists and a thorough investigation is underway to investigate who may have been the author(s) of the lists."

Update 4pm: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has expressed his concern at the recent discovery of a "rape list" was on toilet walls of a Cork secondary school.

A list of girls’ names were written on the wall of the boys' toilets in Davis College in Mallow, Co Cork, with an invitation to vote for one that would then be subjected to rape.

Speaking in Limerick today, the Taoiseach said: “It's certainly something that's very worrying, and I've absolutely no doubt that the school’s authorities will take it in hand, and take whatever appropriate action is necessary.

“But, it does further emphasise the need to modernise and improve relationships and sexual education in our schools.

“Minister Burton announced we were going to do this anyway, but I think this really does empathise that even more so, (especially) in the age of social media and in the age of prevalent pornography.

“We've an obligation, I think, both as parents, and as educators, to really educate our kids more, about appropriate behaviour.”

Earlier: School-toilet 'rape list': Student who saw list on Snapchat says boys urgently need consent training

By Olivia Kelleher

A female student in Davis College in Mallow, Co Cork where a "rape list" was posted on toilets has said that teenage boys need to urgently address issues such as consent so that they learn that sexual assault is something that you don't joke about.

Yesterday, it was revealed that a list of girls’ names were written on the wall of the boys' toilets in the school with an invitation to vote with ticks for the one that would then be subjected to rape. It is claimed that multiple ticks were put next to names.

Speaking on the Neil Prendeville show on Cork's Red FM today, the student, who was not identified, emphasised that she hoped the Davis College story would educate parents and pupils around the country about the need to address these serious issues.

"Threatening rape is just so serious. Boys need to learn that they can't talk about girls like that.

A guy sent (the image) to one of the girls on the list to show her. He was like 'Look at this - it is up.' I think their whole mentality is based on attractiveness or something and they are not realising how serious this is.

The student said it was important not to "paint over" the gravity of the issues involved. She stressed that it was vital that the issue be talked about rather than "buried" or made "hush hush".

"I think that people need to understand what is going on and actually be concerned for the safety of us girls. It has to be talked about," she said.

"I was talking about it with my Mam last night. When she was growing up she wouldn't have known what rape was. But now for me growing up, and especially over the last few years, girls have been told to dress modestly, don't go out alone. Don't be out at night. Don't drink alcohol.

But boys have been told nothing. They get some of it from games and television shows. But in real life they are not being taught about what is right or is wrong. They just see people doing this and they think it looks fun. They are not being taught about what consent is. That is a huge problem.

She said parents talk to girls about rape and they read articles online about what to do if you get in a dangerous situation.

"You see it as well in TV shows. They are saying 'you shouldn't have been out alone. You shouldn't have been wearing this.' There is great stuff in our school. Nobody is denying that at all. But lately this stuff keeps happening."

She said teenage boys often underestimate the gravity of their actions.

"A lot of the boys don't realise how serious this is. I hope that whoever did this is understanding the impact their actions have."

The student added that this wasn't an isolated incident and that it had occurred before. The school has refuted this suggestion.

The student said she could understand the sensitivities of the situation.

"It is quite public. If I was on the list I probably wouldn't want people seeing the list. Some of the girls may be afraid that it might get out. I don't mean by the media but on social media.

"The reason I saw the list is because it was shared on Snapchat. The reason I saw it is because a boy sent it to a girl to show her what was going on."

She added that the boys need to "learn a lesson" and "other people should realise that their actions have an impact".

They can't get away with saying this sort of stuff. I wouldn't make them go up in front of the whole school but they should apologise to the girls. They need to know what rape is and what consent is.

Meanwhile, Rape Crisis Network Ireland has said that they are appalled by the rape list.

Clíona Saidléar, Executive Director of RCNI said: "The threat to rape a child is such a serious matter and should be considered by the gardaí and an investigation opened if appropriate.

This story comes a day after rugby pundit Willie John McBride on an RTE radio programme described sexist, disrespectful and violent behaviour by male sports stars as mere silliness for which no young man should be held accountable. Is it any wonder our young boys think threats to rape are a joke?

"RCNI acknowledge that the Minister for Education and Skills Minister Bruton has announced a review of the sex education curriculum in all schools, ensuring consent education is available. This is clearly urgent and important.," she said.

"We would also urge him to ensure schools and parents can no longer exempt their children from this right to be informed. The Provision of Objective Sex Education Bill 2018 to be debated on the 18th of April in the Dáil seeks to do that.

"The school in question appear to have responded promptly and are proactively engaging with the whole school community but it must be acknowledged they do so in a vacuum. "

Meanwhile, the matter is being investigated thoroughly at the school. It has also been referred to gardaí in Mallow and Fermoy.

In a statement the school, said that the safety and wellbeing of all their students was their "top priority".

Here is the statement:

  • “We are taking this issue extremely seriously, and immediately took steps to address it with both the affected students and student body at large. This work is continuing. The list was removed the minute we were notified of its existence and we spoke to each of the young ladies mentioned to answer any questions or concerns they had. We encouraged them – as we encourage all of our students – to come to us with any issues that may be of concern so that we can support them in any way possible. There has been a spotlight nationally on this topic in recent weeks. In keeping with our ethos of caring for all our students and in light of public and media conversation, we wish to make sure that this issue is addressed among all of our students. Our S.P.H.E. (Social, Personal & Health Education) teachers will be facilitating discussions on this subject with every class. We want students and parents to know that we will continue to provide a safe learning environment for our students. We remain available to all parents."

A parent also spoke on the statement about her desire for the topic not to be discussed in the media.

"My daughter and our family do not want her personal life talked about in the media, on radio, print or online.

"This is something which was upsetting enough for my daughter at the time, and who now is distraught after hearing about it being talked about across the airwaves. While her name may not be mentioned, as you know in small communities, this type of information cannot be kept secret for long, " she said.

Students named on the list have issued a statement outlining their anger at people who are not connected to the incident contacting the media to speak about it.

Their statement said: "We would like to stress our disappointment in the media coverage in bringing this incident into the public domain, without considering the impact this publicity would have on us as individuals.

"When we reported the information to school management we were happy with how the situation was dealt with as it was dealt with discretely and our privacy and dignity were kept intact.

"We greatly appreciate all the work and the support the school has given us.

"We are devastated that incorrect information has been given to the media. We are angered that people with no connection to the incident took it upon themselves to contact the media and speak about our situation.

This has left us vulnerable and open to public opinion.

"We are devastated.

"We appeal for privacy."

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