Mrs Brown Boys star Rory: 'I got death threats over hosting Israeli event'
Mrs Brown's Boys star Rory Cowan received death threats after a video of him hosting an event at the Israeli embassy went viral.
The Ballyfermot native has been visiting Israel for years and said he was shocked at the torrent of abuse he received.
"I've had death threats, I've been warned to stay out of Derry. There's been a campaign to get me replaced in Mrs Brown's Boys", he told the Herald.
"All because I was asked to MC an event at the Israeli embassy for Israel's 65th anniversary. It was May 2013 and they filmed it.
"I love going to Israel, I've been going since 1982 and I was telling them about my good experiences there and why I wouldn't be boycotting it.
"It was put up on the internet and it was there for 15 months when the thing in Gaza kicked off last year.
"People took that video and they said, 'Well, look, he's standing with Israel, he's supporting genocide and the killing of children'.
"And with that it just came from everywhere."
Rory (55) admitted it was tough dealing with the abuse, but he had the support of his close friend Brendan O'Carroll.
"People were putting up vile things, even on Brendan's Facebook page about me," said Rory.
"Someone said to Brendan, 'Your mother would be turning in her grave if she knew you employed someone like him'.
"He said to that person, 'She'd turn in her grave if she thought he couldn't have his own opinion'. He was very supportive."
Speaking at the launch of the ISPCC annual Blue Shield campaign, Rory said he didn't let the online comments get to him.
"You can't take that on board. I don't know who these people are. If I did I'd be scared to go outside my house," he said.
"The one thing that really bothered me were the anti-Semitic comments."
The ISPCC campaign raises awareness of the issue of bullying and highlights the positive work undertaken by schools around the country to tackle it.
The society is asking the public to support the Shield Campaign by wearing a pin, available for €2 in Penneys and Marks and Spencer.