IRISH actor Daryl McCormack was warned by his family to expect racial abuse after he was selected as one of the poster boys of the referendum campaign.
It emerged that the 20-year-old was this week subjected to vile and racist taunts online.
Officials at the Referendum Commission, which is an independent body, immediately removed the posts and blocked the culprits.
The comments however sparked an angry response from members of the McCormack family.
Daryl's uncle Gary McCormack told the Herald last night that he had been prepared for racial abuse.
"We sat down a number of months ago and said 'Daryl, you will be getting this type of abuse'. Daryl and the rest of us were prepared for it so it didn't come as a major surprise," he said.
"Daryl will stand up against it. I've spoken to him and he hasn't even read the comments and he has no intention of doing so. He's not thinking about it, it's like water off a duck's back."
Mr McCormack said his nephew has been racially abused in the past but that the people of his home town of Nenagh, Co Tipperary, have "adopted him as one of their own".
"Daryl is as Irish as anyone else. This isn't the first time this has happened and it won't be the last," he said.
"But he deals with it brilliantly and doesn't let it get to him.
Head of the Dublin-based Integration Centre, Killian Forde, described the culprits as "racists" and "foolish".
"The fact that this man was abused is disgraceful. The culprits are foolish and are nothing short of racists."
The Referendum Commission immediately removed the vile messages, some of which were about Daryl's skin colour, when they were posted on Facebook this week. The gardai however have not been contacted.