Ireland’s prime minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar has announced that the government is talking about introducing a law that would ban under-18s from accessing internet pornography. This comes as the UK government has indefinitely delayed its own plans to block porn for minors.

The news of Ireland’s plans to block porn online follows the verdict of a trial in which two boys were found guilty of murdering Irish schoolgirl Ana Kriegal. One of the boys charged was found to have thousands of extreme pornographic images and videos on his phone.

In response to the trial, the leader of the Irish Labour Party Brendan Howlin said it was the duty of the National Assembly (Dáil) to implement a system in which internet users must confirm that they are over the age of 18 in order to access pornographic content.

Howlin said: “[The convicted boy’s] internet searches in previous years are reported to have included child pornography and animal pornography. We can clearly and unambiguously say this material should not be accessible to children.”

Yesterday Varadkar said that he would speak with the British government to understand how its new online age verification system works. However, Sky News revealed today that the UK’s scheme is to be delayed indefinitely due to a bureaucratic, rather than technical, issue.

The Taoiseach did recognize the implications of such a ban in relation to censorship and said that he is “wary of moralizing,” yet the government is still in the process of drafting the legislation.

“It is a concern that pornography is so accessible to young people, and indeed, so many young people learn about sex through pornography – which is not an accurate representation of what is healthy in life,” said Varadkar.

“The UK law is relatively new, so we don’t know yet if it will be successful.”

In early May the Irish Minister of State for Mental Health Jim Daly said that Ireland would “live to regret it” if it didn’t introduce similar laws.

Mary Lou McDonald, leader of the Irish left-wing republican party Sinn Féin said: “Access to vile and violent material including pornographic material on the world-wide web is deeply troubling and has real life consequences.”

She continued to explain that her party had previously introduced online safety legislation and said that the new laws regarding online pornography should be implemented “quickly and expeditiously.”

The UK’s ‘porn block’ has faced backlash from online security advocates who say that people putting their credit card details into untrusted sites poses serious security issues, and that it puts citizens’ online privacy at risk.