herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Labour's Lorraine Higgins considers quitting after third death threat in a year

Lorraine Higgins
Lorraine Higgins

SENATOR Lorraine Higgins has considered quitting politics after receiving her third death threat in little over a year.

The Galway East Dail candidate said the latest set of abusive emails, containing appalling personalised threats, had made her reflect on whether it is worth continuing in public life.

"I've honestly asked myself if it's really worth all this," the 36-year-old barrister and politician told the Herald.

"But against that I'd also be saying: 'That's what these people want. Will you give in to them?'."

Two emails were sent to Ms Higgins' Oireachtas account in recent days. One boasted that there would be "nothing better than filling your rat's mouth with lead" while the other urged her to "f**k off while you're still breathing".

It is understood that a video featuring a sniper was also included.

Ms Higgins said she could only speculate that the sender may be some kind of ultra-nationalist and possibly glorying in so-called republican dissident credentials.

Ms Higgins, who has campaigned for greater internet safety, said that ultimately her fear was that young and other vulnerable people needed more protection.

suicides

"We have had cases of teenage suicides after terrible suffering from cyber-bullying. It must be addressed by the law," she said.

The Athenry-based Labour senator said she fears for her elderly parents, who both have heart conditions. Until recently she had lived at their home.

"They should not have to put up with this kind of thing. I chose public life, but they did not," she said.

Ms Higgins said that in law and politics she expected tough engagement and was not surprised by some excessive comments.

"But at the end of the day, I respect other people's opinions and I expect people to respect mine," she said, adding that she would be reporting this latest threat to gardai today.

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