THE Church of Ireland bishop who married David and Victoria Beckham was forced to cancel his Twitter account following attacks by internet 'trolls'.
The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton, is the latest victim of Ireland's cyber-bullying epidemic.
The 52-year-old would not comment in detail on the matter, saying he wanted to "ponder" on the issue and that the attacks were "depressing".
Dr Colton, an avid supporter of Manchester United with 3,000 Twitter followers, has sent more than 23,000 tweets on a variety of topics including family life and sport.
But he is understood to have become increasingly concerned at the nature of tweets he received, particularly from 'trolls' who delight in posting vitriolic messages anonymously.
And his decision to leave the social-media site after he was sent various negative tweets about the Christian churches provoked a storm of protest from his Twitter followers.
On Wednesday morning, he tweeted: "Depressing and infuriating to wake up to such venomous generalisations and hatred about religion and clergy on my Twitter timeline."
The attacks against Dr Colton come shortly after the tragic death of junior minister Shane McEntee, who was also the victim of social-media abuse.
And Erin Gallagher (13), from Ballybofey, Co Donegal, committed suicide last year just 24 hours after she warned cyber-bullies on the ask.fm website to stop bullying her.
Another teen, Ciara Pugsley (15), took her own life in Dromahair, Co Leitrim, after being bombarded with hate messages on the same site.
Yesterday, the Irish Independent revealed a 16-year-old schoolgirl in Ballincollig, Co Cork, was the target of cyber-bullying until her teachers intervened.
Dr Colton, who was nicknamed "Purple Spice" after he married the Beckhams in July 1999 at a ceremony near Dublin, declined to comment further on matter. His Twitter account has been completely removed.