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Michael Healy-Rae and Eamon Ryan. Alamy
gutter politics

Eamon Ryan and Michael Healy-Rae condemn social media abuse during election campaign

“It’s bullying, it’s intimidating, it’s nastiness. It’s taking Kerry politics into the gutter.”

TDS EAMON RYAN and Michael Healy-Rae have condemned the personalised online abuse they received during the recent election campaign. 

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, who announced that he would be stepping down as leader of the party earlier today, said that his party has been the subject of “a relentless attack, particularly on social media.”

He said that the party appeared to be subject to coordinated attacks in the comments section on any posts made.

“I decided to ignore the worst comments, even when it included vile statements about my own recently deceased father [when he died] some five years ago,” he said, adding that the abuse has only increased, particularly in the last year. 

On Radio Kerry this morning, Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae appealed for an end to “the politics of horribleness” after he and female members of his family were subjected to “outrageous” social media attacks in the run up to the local elections. 

Healy-Rae described how a video of his his mother, who died in 2015, that was posted to TikTok was particularly hurtful to his family. 

The Independent TD said he discovered the online post after coming home from canvassing one evening. 

The TikTok post included an image of his late mother, Julie Healy-Rae, and a picture of his sister and his wife.

In the image, his mother was frail and with a walking stick and the post had ‘‘all these dirty things underneath,” Healy-Rae said. 

“It’s bullying, it’s intimidating, it’s nastiness. It’s taking Kerry politics into the gutter.” 

“When I see it coming into Kerry, this is what hurts me,” Healy-Rae told Jerry O’Sullivan on Radio Kerry.

He added: “Where are we going to finish up. Will we finish up shooting each other again?

“Call it out for what it is – the politics of horribleness, the politics of  hatred, and of nastiness. Give it up and live a proper life and that’s the message I give to people today.”

Healy-Rae earlier wished Ryan luck on X, saying that “public life isn’t always easy”, but he respected Ryan.

With additional reporting by Emma Hickey.

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