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Critic reports chef's image of 'severed head' to gardai

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 Lucinda O'Sullivan

Lucinda O'Sullivan

Lucinda O'Sullivan

FOOD critic Lucinda O'Sullivan has reported to gardai an image showing her with a "decapitated head" which was posted online.

 

She has given her reaction to the controversy that erupted after Michelin-award winning chef Oliver Dunne posted a Photoshopped version of her image on his Twitter account, following a slightly critical review of his Cleaver East restaurant.

Ms O'Sullivan who writes for the Sunday Independent said that gardai have taken details from her.

She told the Herald that Mr Dunne's "response to what was actually not a bad review, in fact, was totally over the top".

She said that: "A restaurant critic acts for the reader, and you have to be able to give an honest view. I am over 20 years doing it."

The critic said that the posting of the picture was "shocking". "It's a new low," she said. Ms O'Sullivan said that it was unwarranted. She pointed out that she had praised the food and praised the room in the review.

The controversial photograph was based on a promotional image released earlier this year for the restaurant.

However, Mr Dunne subsequently deleted the image, which was sent to him by one of his suppliers, from his online profile. Mr Dunne said yesterday that he had no comment to make at this stage.

The 36-year-old received criticism for sharing the "tasteless" image in which a pig's head was replaced with that of Ms O'Sullivan. He had shared the photo with his almost 3,000 followers, captioning it: "LOL, look what I got in the post!"

Last Friday, he told how he was sorry if anybody was offended by the picture. He said it was sent to him in jest, and was meant to be taken in jest.

 

FEELINGS

He insisted that he had no hard feelings and never has done, and had no issue with being reviewed.

However, writing for the Sunday Independent yesterday about the image posted last Thursday, Ms O'Sullivan said: "Even for the most hardened, not to mention my family and friends, this was a shocking image."

She said that: "Calls and emails rolled in immediately from good friends, colleagues and readers, as to who hated me so much they wanted to post a picture of me beheaded – and also wanted the the world to know they hated me so much.

"We are constantly reading about people being abused on Twitter and online generally.

"Vulnerable people have even taken their own lives as a result of such abuse. On advice, I took the picture (with a heavy heart) to the garda station," she said.

And she said: "Dunne has since apologised if anyone was offended and offered to apologise to me. He has yet to do so."

Ms O'Sullivan said: "The ironic thing is that it wasn't even a bad review, but Mr Dunne obviously didn't like reading it and launched a vicious and wholly inaccurate online blog and Twitter attack on me.

"Having met and shaken hands with Dunne at the Taste of Dublin this year, I had been looking forward to trying Cleaver East."

See Michael O'Doherty's column, page 25


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