A Fianna Fáil TD has had to suspend her Facebook account after a "sinister" fake page was created in her name which implied the deputy was "dismissive of victims of child sexual abuse".
Waterford TD Mary Butler was re-elected to the 33rd Dáil retaining her seat after she finished behind Sinn Féin's poll-topping David Cullinane. However, since her re-election, she has been in the middle of what she has called a "co-ordinated campaign of online hate and harassment".
"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," she said in a statement this afternoon.
"The intention and effect of this activity was to create the impression that I was dismissive of victims of child sexual abuse."
The account in question was deleted after she reported it to Facebook, however, screenshots of the accounts activity continue to circulate across social media.
"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."
Ms Butler says she has reported the matter to the gardaí.