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Caught on camera Vile 'trolls' who falsely advertised anti-racism campaigner as prostitute captured on CCTV

The couple, who are wearing hoods in the footage, can be seen putting the horrific posters up at various locations


Fiona O’Leary

Fiona O’Leary

Fiona O’Leary

Vile ‘trolls,’ who used an anti-racism campaigner’s breast cancer awareness picture to falsely advertise her as a prostitute, have been captured on CCTV.

Gardai in Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary and Swords, north Dublin are investigating the footage which shows a man and woman putting up sickening posters, advertising Fiona O’Leary as a prostitute, around a direct provision centre in the town.

The couple, who are wearing hoods in the footage, can be seen putting the horrific posters up at various locations on at 8.50 pm on April 15th – nine days before similar posters were found in Swords north Dublin.

The posters, which includes the phone number of Fiona’s husband Tim, read: “For rent, discount rate for DP (Direct Provision) Centre residents, call Dimmy 086 ******8. No Fascists! Must wear three masks and have the Covid vaccine.”

Under the capitalised words ‘FOR RENT,’ is an image Fiona used three years ago as part of a widespread campaign by women to highlight breast cancer awareness.

Sources say gardai are now expanding their probe to take in further CCTV systems in a bid to track the pair through their vehicle.

Gardai confirmed the existence of the footage to Fiona O’Leary last weekend and asked her to view it at in a bid to establish whether she could identify the people involved.


The posters use an image of Fiona taken for Breast Cancer Awareness month

The posters use an image of Fiona taken for Breast Cancer Awareness month

The posters use an image of Fiona taken for Breast Cancer Awareness month

Ms. O’ Leary said a shortlist of suspects has now been compiled.

Speaking with the Sunday World, Ms. O’Leary, who is known for her campaigning work against racism and quackery told us: “The gardai have told me they are taking this extremely seriously.

“Image based sexual crime has been legislated for in this country and the people putting up these posters will be dealt with under that legislation.”

Fiona received the call from Dunmanway gardai on Friday evening last to notify of the discovery of the CCTV.

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“The gardai in Dunmanway told me they had received CCTV from Borrisokane regarding two people putting up these pictures on the 15th of April,” Fiona said.

“I went down to the station with Timmy and they played us the footage. The footage showed a man and a woman. The man was about 5 ft 10 and the woman was much smaller.

“They were both wearing black hoods. She was holding the posters and he was putting them up. The gardai in Dunmanway said I could talk to the gardai in Borrisokane.

“When I did, that was when I found out these posters had been up around the Direct Provision Centre. It was the manager of the direct provision centre who alerted gardai.”

The postering of the direct provision centre in Borrisokane occurred two weeks before similar posters were discovered in Swords, north Dublin.

At the time, Fiona described the posters as truly frightening.

“It’s like something some psychopath in a horror movie would do,” she said.

“This goes beyond social media trolling – my naked body is being shared and put up on posters advertising prostitution.

“The thought that someone is driving around out there, with posters of me in a car or van, that really frightens me.”

Fiona believes the posters are the work of racist elements she has been campaigning against for the last number of years.

She first learned of their existence when a man rang looking to ‘rent’ her as a prostitute called her husband Tim.

Fiona, who lives in west Cork, alerted gardaí in Swords who are also reviewing CCTV.

Fiona, whose son Dillon is battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, said. “The number wasn’t blocked, none of the numbers people have called from have been, and the person was asking how much I was to rent.

“The person on the phone asked: ‘Is this a prostitute?’

“The person was actually trying to make an appointment because some of these people actually think that this is real.”

Asked where the picture in the poster had originated from, Fiona said it was taken in 2018 for Breast Cancer Awareness month.

“It was a campaign that was begun by Serena Williams, the tennis player,” she said.

“She had posted an image of herself topless on Twitter to highlight breast cancer awareness. It was something that many women did afterwards to show the scars they had following operations.

“So to see that picture used like this is utterly deplorable.”

“I’m worried and I’m frightened by this because up until now the abuse and harassment I’ve suffered has come in the form of telephone calls or online.

“But this is now happening in the real world. They have put my face and body out there in the most degrading way, like I’m a piece of meat.

“I want these people caught – I want them to face justice.

“The worst thing in this, and none of this is good, is the fact they have mentioned my husband Tim and have included his phone number.

“Previously in some of the online harassment I’ve received, some of those targeting me referred to Tim as ‘Dimmy’ and that what’s in the poster.

“This goes beyond social media trolling. But I’m not going to lie down and let them away with it.”

In a statement gardai told us: "Gardaí are carrying out enquires following receipt of a complaint of harassment made by a woman to Gardaí in Borrisokane."

Anyone with information can contact Swords Garda station on 01 6664700 or the Garda Confidential line on 1800 666 111.

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