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RTÉ’s Katie Hannon sent chilling threat not to ‘solicit negative comments about men’ during discussion of Ashling Murphy murder

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Katie Hannon. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Katie Hannon. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Katie Hannon. Picture: Gerry Mooney

RTÉ broadcaster Katie Hannon received an email telling her she will “have to personally answer for it” if her Saturday radio show “solicited negative comments about men”.

The anonymous email threat addressed to Ms Hannon arrived before she went on air this afternoon and claimed that 200 men were listening and that her show would be recorded and she would have to “personally answer for it” should there be any negative comments about men on her show.

The correspondence claims that these men have an online meeting place, Ms Hannon said.

“We just got an email before we came on air addressed to me that says: ‘I’m just letting you know that your show will be recorded and should you interview or solicit negative comments about men, you will have to personally answer for it,” she read from the message.

“It goes on to tell me there’s some online meeting and that ‘we have close to 200 listening in’ and it’s warning us not to solicit negative comments about men,” Ms Hannon said on her own radio show on RTÉ this afternoon.

Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly, who was part of the roundtable panel said: “To the lovely people, to the 200 - I’d be shocked if there were two people listening with that view in mind - but to them, it’s not all men, but it is a problem and an issue that men need to tackle.”

Ms O’Reilly added: “The conversations we’re having at the minute are really important. It has been going on for decades. I remember my first experience, I dug it out from memory and talking to people. I was 11 or 12 and a man walking past me looked down at me and said: ‘You’ll be ready for a bra soon’, with a big smile on his face and walked off.

“When I talk to my daughter, her experience is the same and when I talk to my mother, hers was the same.”

“Women will continue to fight but it’s time for men of good faith to fight alongside us,” Deputy O’Reilly added.

This comes as scores of vigils are being held nationwide and across the globe in memory of 23-year-old schoolteacher Ashling Murphy who was murdered in Tullamore on Wednesday while out for a run.

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Waves of condemnation and sympathy have spread across the country and among the Irish diaspora globally with the hope of sparking a seachange in societal attitudes towards violence against women.

Deputy O’Reilly said politicians need to lead from the front and Sinn Féin will be bringing forward a private members’ motion in relation to gender-based violence in the Dáil next week.

“We will be looking for really practical steps, we need to start counting this and have a database of gender-based violence. If we don’t know what that quantity of this issue is, we’re not going to be able to stop it,” Ms O’Reilly said.


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