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Saturday 23 August 2014

Labour candidate got death threats during EU campaign

Denise Calnan and Fionnan Sheahan

Published 28/05/2014 | 02:30

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European candidate Lorraine Higgins was threatened online. Photo : Keith Heneghan
European candidate Lorraine Higgins was threatened online. Photo : Keith Heneghan
Lorraine Higgins

Labour Party Senator Lorraine Higgins will make a formal statement to gardai in the coming days about death threats she received during the European election campaign.

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Ms Higgins, who was the Labour candidate in Ireland Midlands-North-West, said she is "going all the way" in her complaint to the gardai about the threat on social media.

The senator says she received "horrendous abuse" throughout the campaign, including the threat to slash her face and murder her.

Several lewd and threatening comments were left on her official Facebook page.

"She's a whore that needs to shut her filthy g** mouth, scummy b*tch cow, I'll f***in' murder her in the face with a hack-saw SWEAR DOWN BLOOD [sic]," the post said.

Ms Higgins said the individual who made the threat appeared to bepolitically motivated.

Ms Higgins said she met with gardai and followed it up with a formal statement yesterday.

"I'm going all the way with this," she said.

"It is regrettable, and if they think that's going to deter me, it has just made me all the more determined to continue my work as senator and run in future elections."

Ms Higgins said she had been subjected to horrendous abuse on Facebook and Twitter in recent weeks following an appearance on RTE's 'Prime Time'.

She said the comment came after several weeks of unpleasant messages from an individual.

"I think it is cowardly – these individuals have never sought a meeting with me but will say these things from behind a keyboard.

"I do feel it is directed towards women more so, I haven't seen comments of a similar nature on any of my male colleague's Facebook pages," she said.

"It is important that this behaviour is clamped down on and stopped, it could stop some really good people running in elections in the future."

Irish Independent

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