The Government is eager to keep in close contact with social media companies over the circulation of misleading and inaccurate videos online, many of them spreading an anti-immigration message, Minister for Justice Simon Harris has said.

The Minister said the Government wanted to express its concern to the social media companies which, he said, were not doing enough to combat misinformation.

Minister Harris also said in light of the European Commission's ban on Tiktok on official devices, Ireland would seek its own security advice on the issue.

In recent weeks gardaí had taken the very rare step of issuing a statement in relation to a crime committed in Dublin and very clearly correcting misinformation that was being circulated about who was responsible, Mr Harris said.

He said that would give you a sense of the level of concern amongst authorities here about the issue.

We are living through a major humanitarian crisis and most people in this country respected Ireland’s international obligations and wanted to do the right thing, the Fine Gael TD said.

He said it was absolutely right and proper that people and communities had questions, but he said that was a world away from the activities of a small number of people who were travelling from pillar to post spreading misinformation and sowing division.

They were not always engaging in protest, he said, but engaging in intimidation. He said gardaí were taking this extraordinarily seriously and he thanked them for their policing response to a really tricky situation.

Minister Harris said the Cabinet had considered how they could address community engagement but he said there was also a role for social media companies and said they were not doing enough to combat the misinformation.

In some instances, he said they could see lots of people sharing something and while this could not be bad for their business models, it was bad for society.

The minister said a recent poll had shown a recognition from an overwhelming amount of people in this country about Ireland’s international obligations, but there was also a fear that Ireland might see a number of people coming in that it could not manage.

He said he would be meeting children from Ukraine in his own constituency. A year ago they were living lives like his own children, at home and now they were in a foreign land. It was hard to find the words for the level of challenge this posed, he added.

Mr Harris also said Ireland acted as a member of the EU. This was right and appropriate, he said, and for Ireland to deviate from other European countries would be very significant and not a good thing to do.

He said it was not true to claim, as some far right campaigners were doing, that deportation orders were not being issued and that people were not processed quickly.