Sunday 19 November 2017

Claire Byrne becomes latest celebrity to leave Twitter after online abuse

Claire Byrne
Claire Byrne
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

RTE presenter Claire Byrne has become the latest star to leave the social networking site Twitter after being subjected to online abuse.

The Prime Time presenter pulled the plug on her 40,000-plus following after comments were made about her personal life after news of her recent engagement became public.

The popular broadcaster was said to have been upset by mean-spirited comments directed at her account.

"I have been on Twitter for years and enjoyed it, but I have been thinking about it [leaving] for a while now. It was just time to say goodbye."

She follows in the footsteps of Ryan Tubridy, who previously came offline after a stream of abusive messages.

Meanwhile, TV3 presenter Colette Fitzpatrick has been moved from her prime-time Midweek show to work with online content.

The mother of two, who has presented Midweek since the show started in 2009, stepped down from her role two weeks ago. She will remain in her role as anchor for the 5.30pm News.

A spokesperson for TV3 described the move as "a company decision".

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Patrick Kinsella, the series producer of Midweek confirmed TV3's biggest female star will not be appearing on the show again.

"We are beefing up our online service and Colette will be very much involved in the day-to-day running of that, rather than spreading herself too thinly on the ground.

The 39-year-old news anchor and chat-show host had risen through the ranks at TV3 to become the station's hottest property.

Originally from Holycross, Co Tipperary, Colette has two children, Milo and Olivia.

Speaking about the reasoning behind the big shake-up at Ballymount, Mr Kinsella said that viewing figures were not a factor in the decision.

"It had nothing whatsoever to do with ratings. In fact, they have been particularly good since Christmas. TV3 will focus a lot more on the online news service in the coming months and Colette will be an integral part of that.

"Nora Owen is carrying out a caretaker-type role for the time being. But we will be looking for someone to front the show in the coming months. Within two to three months we hope to have another presenter in place."

Irish Independent

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