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Tuesday 20 November 2018

'I've had really vile abuse from trolls online' - Muireann

Muireann O’Connell is enjoying fronting her own show on Today FM, as well as presenting The Six O’Clock Show.
Muireann O’Connell is enjoying fronting her own show on Today FM, as well as presenting The Six O’Clock Show.

TV3's Muireann O'Connell has revealed the "disgusting" and "vile" abuse she has received from online trolls.

The Six O'Clock show presenter's colleagues Maura Derrane and Elaine Crowley recently spoke about their own experiences of online abuse, which usually revolves around their outfit choices and physical appearance.

While the majority of comments from people on social media are based on whether or not they like her outfit of the day, which she shares on Instagram, Muireann has been subjected to more troubling abuse.

Crude

"Some people can be quite disgusting, saying really vile and crude things," she said, recalling one young man whose comment was particularly horrible.

"This one stayed with me, because I don't really pay much attention, but he asked me was I pregnant one day and the next day he said, 'Yeah, it looks like you're pregnant. You need to get that baby f**ked out of you'.

Muireann with Six O’Clock Show co-host Martin King.
Muireann with Six O’Clock Show co-host Martin King.

"The next day he said, 'Tell me are you pregnant? What's going on?' So I got on to Instagram to tell him what a period was and what happens during a period.

"It did shut him up a little bit."

Many of her female followers praised her for it, as they were equally as disturbed by the man's comments.

"I didn't do it to try to be mean to him. He needed an explanation," she said.

However, Muireann said she has devised a way of dealing with abuse online.

"I type a reply and delete it and I feel like it's out of my system a little bit, and that's quite cathartic," she said.

Muireann recently did a podcast with comedian Alison Spittle and they discussed the fact that a man has a YouTube channel clips of Irish TV presenters wearing leather.

A clip of Muireann on The Six O'Clock show in leather trousers is one of the latest additions.

"You do put up with some creepy stuff," she said.

It has been something of a whirlwind year for Muireann career-wise, as last month she celebrated one year as co-host of The Six O'Clock show with Martin King.

"It's the longest relationship I've ever had in my entire life bar my mother," she said.

Muireann is also nearly six months into fronting her own show on Today FM, after taking over from Al Porter.

Fickle

Working on Today FM, she said, was always her ultimate aim as she worked her way up from regional radio.

The station recently announced a series of changes to the weekend schedule which saw Nadine O'Regan's show, Songs in the Key of Life, cancelled, as was The Sunday Business Show.

Muireann said she feels for anyone who has been made redundant.

"To anyone going through that, it's one of the worst things I've ever gone through," she said.

"I'm well aware that it could all be taken away in a second.

"I've been doing this a very long time and you work hard, but you never know. Everything is fickle.

"I just know I'm enjoying it at the moment and hopefully will for a long time, without looking too far into the future."

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