Labour Senator sent death threats and called a "dirty f*****g Jew w**re"
A Labour Senator has said that she fears for her life after receiving online death threats and abuse for the third time this year.
Senator Lorraine Higgins has been told by an anonymous online abuser in an email that she will be shot and that they would like “nothing better than to fill a rat’s mouth with lead.”
“you dirty f*****g Jew w**re your more of a police informer than a politician,” reads the email.
“im (sic) going to blow your big f*****g jew nose right off. you have much bigger problems on the way than sinn féin.”
A link contained in the email leads to a video of a sniper, although the video seems to have since been removed.
Speaking to Independent.ie, Senator Higgins, who is not Jewish, said that the vile abuse was affecting her and her family.
“This one has completely stomached me - when somebody sends you a video of a sniper and talks about blowing your nose off, I have no reason not to believe it’s not from a Dissident Republican,” she said.
“I am very concerned and my family are concerned as well.
“They're reading about this and they’re hearing about it - they didn’t expect this when I got into public life.
“It just begs the question of where is it all going to end up - when there’s individuals out there hell bent on a reign of intimidation and fear against people who are genuinely trying to do a good job,” said the Senator.
Higgins said that she is going to to the gardaí today to report the abuse. She also said that she believed she was receiving the abuse because she was a woman and because of her outspoken views.
“If you don’t agree with my opinions then you don’t have to listen to me - but you have to accept my right to have a different opinion,” she said.
Senator Higgins recently proposed new legislation to tackle online bullying. The Harmful and Malicious Electronic Communications Bill seeks to impose legal penalties on anyone found to be sharing messages online that would incite someone to self-harm or take their own life.
However, she said that the Bill is more about protecting school-children and other victims of online bullying, rather than herself.
The Senator also said that she had been informed by gardaí that she can expect more of the abuse on the run up to the election
“I’ve been advised by An Garda Síochána that it’s going to intensify - and that’s a pretty sad place to be,” she said.
Senator Higgins said that she will raise the matter in the Seanad later today