LABOUR SENATOR LORRAINE Higgins has claimed she was subjected to a death threat on her Facebook page during the course of her campaign to be elected to the European Parliament.
She told Today with Seán O’Rourke that she has complained to gardaí over a threat made on her Facebook page last week. Higgins said that a Facebook user told her she would be “hatcheted in the face”.
“I was told that I was going to be essentially hatcheted in the face as a way of murdering me,” she said.
Higgins claimed that the person responsible “certainly had links to a political party or was a supporter of a political party”.
The Midlands North-West candidate has been eliminated from the contest to win one of four seats in the 15-county constituency.
She said the abuse has been “absolutely disgraceful” and that throughout the campaign, but particularly after her appearance on last week’s Prime Time debate, she was “subjected to the most horrendous abuse on Facebook and Twitter”.
This “culminated in a death threat last Friday”, she said adding that while she could not be sure of their links they were “certainly supporters” of an independent candidate and Sinn Féin.
However, a Sinn Féin spokesperson denied claims that any of its members or supporters were responsible for the abuse in a statement to TheJournal.ie this afternoon.
“I can tell you categorically that the people Senator Higgins refers to are not members of Sinn Féin, nor have we any reason to believe that they are supporters of the party,” they said.
“Senator Higgins has done the right thing in going to the Gardaí with this matter as this type of cyber-bullying needs to be dealt with seriously.”
Higgins said she phoned gardaí last Friday and will now make a formal statement.
The failed candidate has already complained to gardaí about vandalism of her election posters with the message ‘Pro Abort’.