February 20, 2021
No place for online threats or social media abuse – Michelle O’Neill

Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill has said there can be no place in society for online threats or malicious social media abuse. 

Michelle O’Neill said: 

“There has been a concerning increase in malicious online harassment, threats and abuse recently directed at public figures. 

“This has involved graffiti threats against journalists Patricia Devlin and Allison Morris, threats against Irish international footballer James McClean, and vile social media abuse directed at my colleague Martina Anderson MLA. 

“All of these threats and abuse are absolutely unacceptable. 

“A free press is central to a democratic society and journalists must be protected from the threat of violence and harassment in carrying out their important work. 

“Equally, it is a democratic imperative that public representatives are able to represent their constitutes free from abuse and threats of violence.

“I have tabled a Matter of the Day so this can be raised in the Assembly on Monday to highlight this important issue and give MLAs an opportunity to send a clear message that there is no place in society for online threats or abuse. 

“Where members of the public have information in regards to such abuse it should be reported to police, and where relevant social media platforms so action can be taken to protect individuals from this harassment and malice.”

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