Cork city councillor Laura McGonigle faced death wishes and vile and abusive language following the furore over her weekend Facebook post regarding Irish Water protesters, according to the Evening Echo.
The Fine Gael councillor admitted she was feeling overwhelmed by some of the comments, including calling for her to be drowned in a bath of water, to be burned, commenting on her appearance and publishing her mobile phone number encouraging others to send abuse.
She was lambasted for comments she made on her personal Twitter and Facebook accounts at the weekend that said protesters in Cork city “should collect all the rain water while out marching today and drink that for the week!”
She apologised for any offence caused, initially saying: “I was attempting to highlight that rainwater is not safe for drinking and costs the State in the region of 1.2bn per year to treat. I realise that my comments were open to a misinterpretation that I did not intend, I apologise for any offence this may have caused.”
However, her initial apology was met with even more anger. Users dismissed her statement as self-serving and demanding she step down.
Speaking since, Cllr McGonigle said: “I never intended to upset anyone. There was no intention on my part to insult anyone, and if anyone felt insulted I am incredibly sorry.
"I understand why people are protesting and I fully support their right to do so. I don’t feel I can usefully add to this, other than to say again that I’m sorry. I’ve been overwhelmed by the commentary which my comments have caused.”
The local furore continues amid reports that the Government is considering a climb down on water charges rates, following huge public pressure.
The issue is up for discussion at today’s Cabinet meeting and also tomorrow’s Economic Management Council.
Changes being considered include a flat fee of no more than 150 capped until the end of 2016 and the holding of a referendum to ensure Irish Water remains in public ownership.
Details will be unveiled next week.