Elaine Byrne: Don’t blame social media – the hate has always been there

Following the killing of Tory MP David Amess concern was expressed for the safety of Irish politicians – but aggression towards our elected representatives is not new

31st October, 2021
Elaine Byrne: Don’t blame social media – the hate has always been there
Floral tributes for British Tory MP David Amess. Threats, attacks and abuse directed at politicians have become so normalised that we have become desensitised to them. Picture: Matthew Chattle/Barcroft Media via Getty

David Amess was murdered because he was a politician. After the killing of the British Conservative MP, there was a minute’s silence in the Dáil. The newspapers carried editorials condemning this abhorrent attack on democracy.

“Just a matter of time until an Irish politician is killed” was the headline in one newspaper that surveyed Oireachtas members. Of the 67 who responded, 31 said their life had been threatened. And then we...

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