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Monday 21 April 2014

Tubridy targeted by vicious hate mob

FACEBOOK: RTE star is target of online hate campaign

RTE's Ryan Tubridy is the latest big star to be targeted in a Facebook hate page.

The Herald can reveal that the Saturday night chat show host is being heavily criticised on a page set up on the popular social networking site.

An 'event' has been set up entitled 'Taking Tubbers Down' and scheduled at the RTE studios for April 4, starting at 10pm -- the same slot as his programme.

In the description area underneath, the creator of the site has written: "We'll get Daniel O'Connor to rugby tackle Tubbers and I'll finish him off. Then we'll all toast a drink and go home. I'll bring knives!!"

It has been called a "night of mayhem' party and so far has attracted some 43 guests to sign up as attending, with the attached email address reading 'a**ehole_tubbers@rte.ie'.

Several people have left comments on the site, one saying: "Oh yeah, it's on ... we're taking him down to Chinatown."

It's not yet known which Daniel O'Connor is being referred to and the identity of the page's creator is not known.

However, it's not all bad news for Tubridy, given that some fans have jumped in to defend him. One Facebook user writes how he likes the Dublin star as "he's better than Kenny."

When contacted about the page, an RTE representative said after checking it out that they would not be making any comment about it.

She added that no plans have been made to book anyone by the name of Daniel O'Connor as a guest on the show.

The show has an official Facebook page, which contains pictures and comments about guests previously on the show, which could have inspired the tongue-in-cheek rival page.

The well-known presenter, who recently presented the IFTAs, is one of a few remaining RTE stars including Gerry Ryan refusing to take a pay-cut.

Miriam O'Callaghan, Joe Duffy, Eamon Dunphy and Pat Kenny are among those to have all signalled their willingness to take a wage hit given the current economic crisis.

In a statement released through agent Noel Kelly, Tubridy explained that for "personal, legal reasons", he was unable to take a reduction at this point in his career.

However, there may be serious changes afoot for all the station's staff after Communications Clinic chair Tom Savage was brought in to head the new RTE interim authority. The move was warmly greeted by opposition parties amid claims that RTE displayed a "certain naivety" in agreeing to long-term contracts where salaries couldn't be legally challenged.

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