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online abuse Fianna Fail senator calls for ban on anonymous social media accounts after suffering trolling

She revealed how anonymous trolls began to send her vile abuse on social media soon after becoming a senator last summer.

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Senator Erin McGreehan

Senator Erin McGreehan

Senator Erin McGreehan

FIANNA FAIL senator Erin McGreehan has told of the intimidation and online abuse she has suffered since becoming a senator last summer.

Ms McGreehan, from Cooley, near Carlingford, Co Louth, was was first elected to Louth County Council in 2019 and then promoted to the Seanad by her party leader, Taoiseach Micheal Martin.

She revealed how anonymous trolls began to send her vile abuse on social media soon after her appointment.

"The difference in abuse from the council to the Seanad is just incredible. When it comes to national politics with these anonymous abusers you just cease to be human," she said.

"In their eyes they don't see you as human, you are just a politician there to be abused no matter what.

"They don't take into account that you have family or feelings. You are just an object and they couldn't care less."

She is now calling on the government to bring in a new law to ban people posting anonymously on social media.

Ms McGreehan said, unless the law is changed, we will struggle to encourage people to enter politics.

"We have our Dail committee on Culture and the Media of which I am a member looking at it. We need to bring in the social media companies who are publishers as far as I am concerned until proven otherwise.

"You just can not be allowed to abuse people and hide behind an anonymous name."

The senator said the worst abuse she has received was when she voted for all the data from the Mother and Baby Homes victims to be retained by the state and put on a new national database last year.

"The abuse cut very deep with me," she said.

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