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Sinead Kennedy says ‘awful’ online abuse forced her to quit Facebook

“I couldn’t believe the awful stuff I was reading about myself and Maura and to a lesser extent Dáithí.”

Sinéad Kennedy

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Sinead Kennedy had admitted she deleted Facebook after “awful” online abuse began when she joined The Today Show.

The RTÉ star has told RSVP that Winning Streak had been “a lovely happy show” that had no social media presence, so she was not expecting things to change when she joined co-hosts Maura Derrane and Daithí Ó Sé.

"When I went to Today, which had its own social media pages, I couldn’t believe the awful stuff I was reading about myself and Maura and to a lesser extent Dáithí.

“I had heard about the vitriol on social media but had never experienced it before and sadly, most of it was from women.

"I didn’t let it get to me because I was smart enough to accept that these people don’t know me. I had no control over them. It’s your family and friends who count, not an unknown angry person.

"The other thing I did was just delete my Facebook. It doesn’t mean those comments aren’t there anymore, but I can’t see them."

The presenter keeps up with fans on the “less toxic” Instagram, she said.

"I am not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s fine – I just don’t need to know about it.”

The RTÉ favourite recently opened up about her long-distance marriage to naval officer Conor Kirwan.

Speaking to the RTÉ Guide in October, she said: “It’s been tough on Conor and also for Indie looking for daddy and asking for him, but that is our reality for now.”

Her husband is based in Brussels at the European Defence Agency while she lives in Ireland with their two-year-old daughter Indie.

"I’d love to see more of Conor but this is where we are at right now. So we’ll keep going and keep in touch via Facetime and WhatsApp and those other social media platforms that I still use.”

She previously told the Sunday World that flying over to Brussels gets “harder” as her daughter gets older.

“It’s funny, it’s not one of those places that I was ever like, ‘I want to get to Belgium tomorrow’, but oh my god, what a fabulous country. It’s just really chilled,” she shared.

“It was nice to be able to spend time as a three, which is rare at the moment, unfortunately — but that’s just our lives and that’s work and it’s for a finite amount of time, which is a relief.

We’ve been doing this for quite some time and it just gets harder as she gets older, I think because she’s more aware of what’s going on. She misses him and of course, he misses her — he always missed her — but I think she’s more aware of missing him now that she’s that little bit older.

“It’s nice to know that kind of over and back, to-and-fro, and not seeing each other and him and Indie not seeing each other every day will not be forever, thank God.”

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