Opinion

Saturday 21 October 2017

Harassment is not comedy, so stop targeting our First Citizen

Lampooning of our President is nothing short of toxic bullying, says Mark Patrick Hederman

Michael D Higgins wrote to President Francois Hollande to express his condolences
Michael D Higgins wrote to President Francois Hollande to express his condolences

Mark Patrick Hederman

For some time now our President, Michael D Higgins, has been the subject of supposed humorous sketches - by RTE radio and television; at a prestigious concert in the National Concert Hall; and, last month, in this newspaper's LIFE magazine.

The idea that every home in Ireland should be subjected to this supposedly humorous depiction of the President, his wife and his assistant, Kevin McCarthy, seems to me to be a scandal that should cause shame to us all. This is no less than bullying and harassment in the workplace, which we are trying to phase out at every other level, but when it comes to the President and his wife, we seem to imply they are fair game.

Such lampooning of our President, his wife, and his assistant can no longer pass as entertainment. It enters the abusive area of 'slagging' which we are trying to eliminate from our schools throughout the country, from social media and the internet as an almost unstoppable plague.

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