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Worried about hate mail? Then quit TV, says Gaybo

TELEVISION stars who worry about hate mail should get jobs in shops or offices where they won't be in the public eye, former 'Late Late Show' host Gay Byrne has advised.

Byrne was speaking following high-profile cases where a series of RTE personalities have complained that they have been the victim of stalkers or abusive post.

Both Sharon Ni Bheolain and Miriam O'Callaghan have recently spoken of their experience with stalkers, while newscaster Aengus MacGrianna revealed that he has also received hate mail.

Mr Byrne said that he "used to get abusive letters all the time" and added that he was "threatened by IRA people, many, many times".

He warned: "No matter who you are in the public eye, whether a politician or a footballer or a TV host, you are going to get rude letters.

"If you don't want to get that kind of mail, go back to the shop, or the office or the warehouse where you came from, and stay out of the public eye."

Byrne sympathised with Ni Bheolain who made a complaint to gardai over an alleged stalker saying she is "entitled to her privacy".

He added: "Some people don't see it that way and once you're on TV, you're a target and that's it."

According to Byrne, the people who send hate mail are doing it because TV stars' success "is a reflection on their failure".

On the subject of death threats he received, Byrne said: "I always worked on the basis that people who are going to kill you don't write to you beforehand, they just do it."


Newsreader MacGrianna last week revealed the abusive and homophobic hate mail he received saying: "Anything I've ever received has gone straight into the bin and been forgotten about immediately, so I don't pay any time to it and I move on."