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Chilling threats of 'hit' on Duffy in fake SF tweet


Joe Duffy   in studio at RTE .Pix Ronan Lang/Feature File

Joe Duffy in studio at RTE .Pix Ronan Lang/Feature File

Joe Duffy in studio at RTE .Pix Ronan Lang/Feature File

SINN Fein has been rocked by another fake Twitter account which this time targeted RTE presenter Joe Duffy.

The Liveline presenter says a "chilling" threat was made over his comments about Gerry Adams on his show.

An account calling itself Sinn Fein Corcaigh was set up yesterday and suggested followers should "get a hit out for Joe".

The party has distanced itself from the social networking account saying that it has no way of tracing the "bogus" user.

It is the second time that a fake account linked to Sinn Fein has caused controversy.

During last year's Frontline presidential debate, a tweet purporting to be from Martin McGuinness' campaign sent out a message that was quoted by Pat Kenny.

The tweet claimed a press conference would be held by a businessman who went to a Fianna Fail fundraiser, which Mr Gallagher helped organise.

The incident put Mr Gallagher under pressure and has been cited as one of the main factors that caused his big lead in the polls to disappear.

Sinn Fein said the latest fake party Twitter account was set up "mischievously" and is contacting the social media company to prevent abuse of its official party logo.

The bulk of the messages sent out by Sinn Fein Corcaigh were about regular Sinn Fein campaigns and were forwarded to other party accounts.

But there was a more sinister tone to a message about RTE's Liveline and its presenter: "Gerry is a legend, lets get a hit out for Joe, boys."

Mr Duffy said he was worried by the incident as it was the first time he was threatened in this manner.

He said his work was covering Mr Adams on both the radio show and a documentary.

"I find this message chilling. Yes, it does worry me. It's the first time I have been threatened in this way.

"I'm hoping that Sinn Fein will distance themselves from these threats. I presume this is because Gerry Adams' name has been coming up a lot on the show lately," he said.

"He was mentioned again yesterday by Det Garda McCabe's sister-in-law, Una Heaton, who was complaining about Mr Adams' Twitter account.

"Someone may also been unhappy with the radio documentary I did the weekend about Thomas Niedermayer – the boss of the Grundig electronics plant in Belfast who was kidnapped in 1973 and killed by the Provisional IRA and whose wife Ingeborg and two daughters Gabrielle and Renata later committed suicide.

"As an IRA leader at that time, maybe Mr Adams would like to discuss that, or talk to talk to the only remaining members of the Niedermayer family – Gabrielle's two daughters Tanya and Rachel," he added.



Last night, Sinn Fein said that it can "confirm absolutely" the Twitter account is not a party account.

"Cork Sinn Fein @CorkSinnFein is the name of the genuine account associated with our party in Cork.

"As you are aware, there is no way to know who is running this bogus account nor to control its content. We are making approaches to Twitter to prevent abuse of the party logo," a party spokesman said.