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Over 80% of TDs subject to online abuse

Over 80% of TDs have been the subject of online abuse in the last 12 months, according to a survey of 70 TDs by TG4’s 7LÁ.

Some 42 TDs, or 60% of those who responded to a survey sent to all 160 TDs, said they felt threatened during their constituency/parliamentary work, of which 28 TDs said they felt their safety was in danger.

Over half who responded said the threats related mostly to immigration and the rise of the far-right.

Other threats detailed by TDs covered a broad spectrum of issues including housing, the conflict between Israel and Hamas and crime and drugs.

One TD said that there “is a daily stream of abuse from far-right posters and criticised social media platforms’ understanding of ‘community standards’.”

Most TDs, or 70% of those who responded said they were threatened on several occasions.

Some 32 TDs alerted gardaí to the threats and 28 TDs said they alerted party leadership or colleagues.

A former government minister received threats relating to their time in cabinet.

The survey of 70 TDs indicates that 51 TDs, 73% of those who responded to the survey believe a general election will happen this year.

Some 60 of the 70 TDs who answered the survey intend to stand for re-election.

Regarding the upcoming referendums, 44 TDs, 63% of those who responded believe the family referendum will pass, while slightly less, 40 TDs, or 57% of those who responded, feel the care referendum will pass.

The survey was circulated to all 160 elected TDs. It was conducted online between Monday 22 January and Monday 4 March.

The 70 TDs who took part in the survey came from across the parliamentary political spectrum.

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