Saturday 24 February 2018

'There were death threats against my husband and children' - TD Josepha Madigan on social media abuse

Bill: Josepha Madigan Photo: Tom Burke
Bill: Josepha Madigan Photo: Tom Burke Newsdesk Newsdesk

Fine Gael TD Josepha Madigan has said that more needs to be done to curb social media posts after her husband and children received death threats on social media.

The Fine Gael TD is drafting a bill to curb criminal trial comment on social media and believes the the rules for traditional media should also apply to social media. She is though suffering online abuse as a result.

"Paul Murphy had to be taken to task – he wasn’t a victim," Madigan told the Floating Voter explaining the Taoiseach's testy exchange with Murphy in the Dail.  "There's a way of doing it and not doing it.  He's just trying to get political mileage and he's looking for headlines anyway he can.

"We need legislation that keeps up with technology," she explained.  "With an ongoing trial people shouldn’t be able to make commentary on social media.  It's too dangerous otherwise.

"Anybody who puts their head above the parapet gets abuse on social media," she added, before revealing the death threat and abuse suffered by her family and kids. 

"A year ago I had a death threat and I did go to the gardai because it involved my family and there was death threats against my children and my husband. That would effect me more than a general comment about myself."

"I've got abuse on a whole other level since entering politics.  It is hurtful but it wont deter me if I feel it's right.  Any change is going to cause consternation especially it seems on the Left where they’ve a great team of keyboard warriors it seems."

Each week on the Floating Voter, INM's political team discuss the main issues affecting Irish politics, bursting the bubble around Leinster House.  New episodes on iTunes and SoundCloud every week.

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