September 29, 2021

Newly elected TD: Fake social media profile was created to give impression I was dismissive of child sex abuse victims

A Waterford TD says she is the victim of a fake social media profile created to give the impression she was “dismissive of victims of child sexual abuse.”

Fianna Fail’s Mary Butler, who was returned to the Dáil earlier this week, says she has been targeted by a “sustained and co-ordinated campaign of online hate.”

The fake Facebook page called “Mary Butler TD” had been used inappropriately to apparently “like” and “laugh” at comments from a legitimate Facebook user, a campaign she said intensified in the last 24-hours.

Deputy Butler has reported the incident to Gardai.

In a statement released today, Deputy Butler said: “Over recent months I have been subjected to a sustained and co-ordinated campaign of online hate and harassment.  Since my re-election as a TD this has intensified and a very sinister development has taken place over the last 24 hours.

“Last evening, I became aware that a fake ‘Mary Butler TD’ Facebook page had been created and used to ‘like’ and ‘laugh’ at certain comments on other, legitimate pages.  The intention and effect of this activity was to create the impression that I was dismissive of victims of child sexual abuse.

“Shortly after I was made aware of the fake Facebook profile, the account disappeared.

“However, those behind this smear operation had taken screenshots of the fake activity and in a sophisticated and highly co-ordinated effort, distributed the images through social media throughout Waterford and around the country.

“The effect of this attack has been devastating for me personally and for my family.  My commitment to and support for victims of sexual abuse has been complete and unwavering,” Deputy Butler concluded.



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