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Politician gets abuse for views on charges

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Cllr Laura McGonigle

Cllr Laura McGonigle

Cork city councillor Laura McGonigle.

Cork city councillor Laura McGonigle.

Cllr Laura McGonigle

A FINE Gael councillor who suggested anti-water charge campaigners could collect rainwater to drink has been the victim of vicious social media abuse, including suggestions that she be drowned or burned.

Cllr Laura McGonigle (inset) apologised for her comment but admitted she has been "shocked and overwhelmed" by the fury of the attack she has been subjected to on Twitter and Facebook over the past 48 hours.

The Cork City Council member and accountant was said by friends to be "deeply upset" over the personal nature of some of the attacks.

Several social media posts suggested she should be drowned in a bucket or bath, burned, or targeted by protests until she resigns. Other comments involved her personal appearance.

Some social media users circulated her phone number and urged people to use it to vent their fury over the water charges issue.

However, no complaint has been made to gardai.

Cllr McGonigle said she had never intended to offend anyone. "I was attempting to highlight that rainwater is not safe for drinking and costs the State in the region of €1.2bn per year to treat. My comments were open to a misinterpretation that I did not intend, I apologise."

hnews@herald.ie


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