THE family of a young model who was 'poked' by rugby star Simon Zebo on a social networking site have spoken at their shock at how she was subjected to a torrent of vile abuse and labelled a "slut" online.
Miss Limerick, Shauna Lindsay, hit the headlines last week after her boyfriend -- RTE DJ JJ Hartigan -- publicly warned the Munster and Ireland international to stay away from his girlfriend.
The 18-year-old beauty was subsequently subjected to misogynistic abuse online over the following days.
At least one member of her family personally contacted offenders who were behind the vile comments.
One commentator labelled her a "slut", while another female poster commented: "She doesn't look like she's worth the poke," adding "like all model types -- a bit tarty -- like sour apples."
A source close to the model told the Sunday Independent this weekend: "It is very upsetting. She is not letting it get to her at all, but seeing that kind of abuse directed towards an 18-year-old girl is incredible.
"People calling her a slut, she doesn't deserve any of this. She has a long-term boyfriend, she is a very quiet girl and is very much in love."
"I had to personally write to some of them. The comments were completely unacceptable."
Events unfolded when the Ireland and Munster rugby player made advances at stunning Shauna Lindsay online last weekend.
Her DJ boyfriend then posted a picture online of Zebo poking the pretty Miss Ireland runner-up, telling the 23-year-old player to back off.
He wrote on his Twitter account : "Simon Zebo should concentrate on poking his own bird and leave poking mine to me."
'Poking' is where you hit a button on someone's Facebook page to generally signal that you fancy them.
Shauna kept clear of the online spat, but stood by her boyfriend by retweeting his post.
JJ Hartigan aka DJ Jay-J has a weekly show -- The Full House -- on RTE's digital channel Pulse.
He also works on Lyric and 2FM, as well as Will Leahy's popular slot.
Shauna, who currently works in Debenhams department store, was crowned Miss Limerick 2013 last May.
The brunette beauty, who lives in Limerick city centre, has a big year ahead of her representing the City of Culture.
Standing a statuesque 5ft 10ins, Shauna has been inundated with modelling offers after catching the attention of the judges of the Miss Ireland competition with her exotic good lucks and bubbly personality.
Shauna, who is originally from Shannon in Co Clare, says she now has her heart set on pursuing a career in modelling.
"It's just the buzz you get off it -- it's such an adrenalin rush when you walk out in front of all the people. I've done a few photo shoots and I've done one fashion show and I love it," she said.
Meanwhile, injured rugby star Simon Zebo has switched his attention to another model.
He has let the world know, via his Twitter page, that he is loved-up with Madrid model and law student, Elvira Fernandez (21).
The sports star posted a picture of the pair in Spain.
Zebo tweeted a public "see you tomorrow" message to her, which prompted former Irish and Munster star Jerry Flannery to describe it as a "class tweet", and advised Zebo to try texting his love interest in future.