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  • Writer's picturePippa Hackett

Hackett will stand firm against misinformation and insults

Updated: Aug 17, 2022

I am prompted to speak out in response to a particular post that that was published by the Barroughter and Clonmoylan Bogs Action Group on Facebook, Saturday 13th July.

This group does not usually shy away from using personalised insults and slurs, but this particular post was abhorrent.

The post, titled ‘Written in turf’ shows an image of a child kneeling behind 3 words, styled from sods of turf, which say ‘F*** u Ryan’.

I believe that this post is not worthy of us as Irish people.

I have never shied away from discussing difficult issues with people who have a different opinion to my own, but the focus must always be on the issue, not the person.

I find this post unacceptable on many grounds, not least of which because it comes on the weekend that Minister Eamon Ryan laid his mother to rest.

As a result, I felt compelled to comment on the post on Sunday morning, 14th August, saying: ‘Minister Eamon Ryan buried his mother this weekend. I am deeply concerned by this post. Given the Ryan family's grief and the potential misuse of a child's image, I ask the group to remove this post.’

Within 2 hours my comment had been removed along with the comments that showed support for my request. By the time my comment was removed, a new image had been posted in the comments, in a similar guise, with sods of turf, but with my name, and no child. As I write, it is still there.

This anonymous Facebook group chooses to use offensive targeted personal insults, and is followed by over 20,000 people. I believe that all reasonable people will agree that this is an unacceptable way to present an argument.

I will continue to make the case for climate action, biodiversity conservation, clean air, and a just transition, but will do so without such personal targeting.

I want to sincerely thank the courageous people who also highlighted the abhorrent nature of this post. We need more like you.


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