A string of anti-parliamentary tweets by one of the Irish Journalists Union (IJU) members have left journalists and union officials feeling vulnerable.
The tweets by James Poyntz and Paul Kelly, who are both members of the Dublin-based publication, were sent in September and October last year, but have caused an outcry among journalists and their supporters in Ireland and abroad.
Poytnz, who is also the head of a group called the Irish Press Council, wrote: “What’s happening in the Republic of Ireland?
It is an unprecedented and unprecedented situation.
It is a threat to democracy and press freedom.”
Poyttz said he and Kelly both received death threats.
“We have been subjected to constant threats, intimidation and even rape,” Poyntonz said.
“These tweets were sent to a member of the staff who was the first to report a crime on social media.
It was a cowardly act.”
POYNTZ AND KELLY SAY THEY HAVE BEEN IN HOSPITAL Since the tweets, the two have been hospitalised.
“It is not just about me, it is about our profession and the press.” “
Kelly, a former journalist and broadcaster, said he had been in hospital with a suspected bacterial infection for more than a month. “
It is not just about me, it is about our profession and the press.”
Kelly, a former journalist and broadcaster, said he had been in hospital with a suspected bacterial infection for more than a month.
“When I was in hospital I was scared for my life, but I have never felt like that in the past,” he said.
He said his tweets had not only hurt the IJU, but also the Irish public.
“This is not the first time that the Irish press has been attacked and we have been subject to the same abuse as journalists,” he added.
PIONEERERS SUPPORTED POYTNZ’S COMMENTS IN A TWITTER: “I’ve never been the target of such vile abuse.
He said the tweets were made in a “toxic environment” and “a place of fear”. “
You have a right to free speech, but when you use that right to intimidate people who are exercising their freedom of speech, that is unacceptable.”
He said the tweets were made in a “toxic environment” and “a place of fear”.
“This has happened before and it will happen again.
It’s a serious breach of trust, of human rights, of a free press and of freedom of expression.”
The tweets, sent on the same day as the Dáil’s return to normal after a break, included threats against journalists, their families and a reference to the recent publication of a dossier of alleged abuse and sexual assault by former Labour TD for Dublin South-Central Patrick Harvie.
The allegations, which have not been proven, have rocked the political establishment in the south-east and led to an investigation into alleged corruption in the Dail.
POOYTNZ AND ROSEY SAY ‘WE WILL ALL COME BACK’ The tweets have led to a backlash on social networking sites.
One of the tweets from the IJs members on Monday read: “There will be no return to the dark days of yesteryear, the days when we were told by those who control the Irish media that we are nothing but nothing but trouble.
We will all come back.”
Another tweet read: “#NoMoreShameOnYou, #NotJustAnotherToxicDrama, We will come back #ToxicTheresNothingLeftButStones.
#TheParliamentaryBurden” The tweets sparked a backlash from both sides of the political divide, with supporters of the IJDU saying the tweets are “a disgrace and an attack on the very values of journalism”.
The tweeters’ tweets also prompted an online campaign from the pro-paradoxical Twitter account @TheParadox, which is run by journalist and campaigner Michael O’Brien.
“The tweets are a disgrace and a attack on all journalists, all the journalists of the country, all those who dare to stand up to the bullies,” said @The_Paradix.
“And for those who choose to sit on the fence, I ask you to understand, we will all soon come back to our countries of birth and our homes.”
POONTZ IS BACK IN A LIFESTYLE Mr Poytnsyers tweets have been picked up by various publications including the Independent and The Irish Independent, but he has been denied entry into the Republic for two months.
“In light of this behaviour I have decided to step down from the job,” Poys tweets read.
“But I am not going anywhere, no matter what the political winds blow.”
The IJUnions general secretary said he would remain in the job until he receives an apology from the D