Politics

Thursday 21 August 2014

Hacking victim TD forced to shut Facebook page

Ralph Riegel and Niall O'Connor

Published 19/11/2013 | 02:00

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Michael McGrath: one of Fianna Fail's rising stars

A HIGH-profile Fianna Fail TD admitted hackers who used his Facebook page to promote a 'MILF of the Day' site underlined the dangers of the internet.

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Finance spokesman and Cork TD Michael McGrath (37) had to deactivate his Facebook account after an image went viral of him purportedly 'liking' a site which offered images of 'Sexy Mums Across the World'.

Mr McGrath said he was investigating the source of the hacking but has not, as yet, made a formal complaint to gardai.

"I think this whole thing underlines just how vulnerable you are on the internet.

"I found out about his on Saturday when friends rang me to say what they had seen online. I wasn't taking any chances so I immediately deactivated my Facebook account.

"As far as I know, the image in circulation was a screen-shot of my page. But I just don't know. I am now trying to find out where that image came from and who put it in circulation," he said.

Mr McGrath said he has a sense of humour but this incident went substantially beyond the bounds of what is acceptable.

"I have no plans to reactivate my Facebook account until I find out exactly how this happened and who is responsible," he said.

"With 3,500 Facebook friends looking over my shoulder, do you think in my right mind I would be so stupid to like such a page?" he told the Irish Independent.

"I was shocked and disgusted when friends rang me on Saturday to tell me about it," Mr McGrath said.

EMBARRASSING

The married father of five admitted that the incident was embarrassing but that his friends and colleagues had been very supportive.

"I know some people might think it is funny but the danger is, what is next? Is there someone out there who wants to damage you, and is willing to do this kind of thing, or maybe something worse?"

Mr McGrath, regarded as one of Fianna Fail's rising stars, was the only party TD to win a second seat in any constituency in 2011. He said he uses Facebook to keep in touch with his constituents.

In June, Fine Gael MEP Jim Higgins claimed that his Twitter account was hacked after a tweet telling the Anglo Irish Bank to "f**k off" was sent from his account. It was sent after the shocking contents of the Anglo tapes were initially revealed by this newspaper.

But Mr Higgins said his account was targeted.

"Account hacked! Foul-language tweet not from me. Investigating hacker," he later tweeted.

Irish Independent

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