Saturday 22 October 2016

Claire Byrne: 'I stopped using Twitter because it was inviting trolls into our home'

Claire Byrne
Claire Byrne
Claire Byrne

RTE's Claire Byrne said she "doesn't know what's wrong with people" that they feel the need to attack others online.

The Claire Byrne Live host quit Twitter when mean comments started to get to her.

"I know there'll be stuff on there about how I look and what I wear - and I just don't need to see that," she told the Herald.

"I stopped using Twitter because it was actually my fiance Gerry who said to me, 'I don't know why you're inviting these people into our home'.

"Because if you're sitting at home trying to have a family life and you're looking at all these nasty things and it's affecting you, what's the point of it?"

The 40-year-old famously confronted an online bully who sent her a message on Facebook saying he hoped she'd never return from maternity leave.


When she messaged him back, he later replied saying his account had been "hacked".

"I don't really know what's wrong with people that they have to attack people online," she said.

"I'm not just talking about people in my position, it's teenagers and lots of other people.

"It's a strange thing that people think it's okay to sit down and write something deeply offensive on a keyboard and press 'send'," she added.

Claire said she feels "absolutely no pressure" from RTE to have a personal Twitter account and said she avoided looking at online comments after her show.

"We always have a few meetings after each show to go through the responses that we have on social media," she said.

"But I don't look directly at them because I don't really want to see personal stuff that I'm sure people are saying about me.

"I've enough to be dealing with - I have two children and work and the rest.

"So if there's an editorial problem or a real issue with something I presented, then my producers will certainly tell me about that," she added.

When it comes to her on-screen fashion choices, Claire said it's "part of my gig", but she hasn't "got the time or space in my head" for worrying about clothes.

"I'm too focused on presenting a really good current affairs programme and looking after two babies," she said.

Claire was speaking at Ireland's Biggest Coffee Morning in association with Bewley's, which aims to raise vital funds for hospice services in Ireland.

"It's great to be involved with such a people-driven organisation. I visited the hospice in Raheny and they do incredible work," she said.

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