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Rate of attrition illustrates impact of political abuse

World of Politics with Harry McGee

The life of a politician is not an easy one, especially if you are a rural TD. Your life is spent traipsing up and down to Dublin each week for long days in Leinster House, in party rooms, or in Government Buildings if you are a Minister.

Your Saturdays are spent travelling around your constituency going from clinic to clinic. The other days of the week you often need to make it to some part of the constituency to make it to a funeral. People give out about politicians attending funerals. But they give out even more if politicians don’t attend funerals. Then there are the public meetings, and the special occasions, the representations, the phone calls, the pleas.

And also it is a precarious job; every few years, you have to face the electorate. You might have been a Minister on Tuesday. But by Friday you may have been given the order of the boot and find yourself jobless.

Since I started covering politics twenty years ago this summer, a new layer of difficulty has been added on to that. It started with Facebook and has continued with Twitter. Social media has made messaging much easier. But it has also made abuse – and truckloads of it – much easier too.

If you look, it won’t take long to find it: hate, bile, abuse, misogyny, sexism, homophobia, bitterness, rancid language, and horrible, horrible insults.

It reached a nadir this year when Minister of State Anne Rabbitte and her fellow Galway East TD Ciaran Cannon attended a meeting in Gort where they had a bag of dung thrown at them. Rabbitte has since spoken of the intimidation that she and her staff have faced.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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