THE nephew of TD Shane McEntee, who took his own life before Christmas after he had been subjected to vicious cyber-bullying, has hit out this weekend at the online mob mentality directed at a teenage schoolgirl.
Shane McEntee took to his social-networking page to voice his disgust at the way the youngster was being treated.
His comments came after an unfortunate night on the town when the girl, who claims that she is the daughter of "the highest-earning partner" in a major accountancy firm, began shouting abuse at a group of diners who were taunting and filming her on their mobile phone.
The video went online and has resulted in a torrent of class hatred and an avalanche of abuse against the youngster.
The video of the 16-year-old girl went viral this weekend, showing her in a highly excited state in a late-night Dublin pizza parlour. In the footage, she speaks about her father, who she claims works for a major accountancy firm.
The south Dublin teenager is heard bragging to fellow diners: "You know my dad is one of the highest-earning partners in [names a large accountancy firm] ... Laugh all you want, you losers."
She adds: "[It] isn't even in your dictionary. Good luck with your life, you f***ing losers. You're not going to get anywhere."
Later she says: "How much do you earn an hour? €10? You are not a partner, you are a pleb. The plebs get 5 per cent discount. I'll talk to my lovely f**king dad about this. He gets 50 per cent because he is a partner."
She later holds up a pair of shoes, boasting: "I can afford a pair of. . . do you know what Manolo Blahniks is?"
Although the video was promptly removed from YouTube, it has continued to spring up on numerous other websites.
Social-networking sites went into overdrive discussing the girl's behaviour. Sneering Facebook accounts have been set up to mock the student and the girl and her father have both been repeatedly identified online.
The girl's Facebook account has been suspended and her father's LinkedIn profile can no longer be accessed. It is believed he has not worked for the named accountancy firm for some time.
This weekend McEntee, a talented GAA player with the Meath minor team, made a plea for people to halt the online taunts.
Taking to his Twitter page on Friday, he said: "Surely people have the cop-on at this stage, after all the recent tragedies not to go to town on the girl."
His uncle, a Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, was buried in his native Meath as family and colleagues claimed cyber-bullying contributed to his suicide.
While the vast majority of online users feel the girl's behaviour was wrong, many feel that most people have had embarrassing moments in their youth which they would be embarrassed to have broadcast to the world. One tweeter appealed for calm over the latest online victim, saying: "We've all been there."