Sinn Fein ‘will not tolerate any cyberbullying by its members’

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has warned that any instances of cyberbullying by members of the party will not be tolerated.

He said he along with other members of the party have been the subject of “really, really gross abuse” across social media.

However, speaking at the party’s think-in in Co Meath, Mr Adams said he has “never made an issue” of abuse he received online.

“I simply just block the people. But I myself have been subjected to it on many, many occasions,” said the Sinn Féin president.

The party invited members of Twitter to address the meeting of TDs, senators, and members of the Northern Ireland Assembly which continues today.

Mr Adams is an avid social media user and has amassed 120,000 followers on Twitter. He has been known to tweet about his many teddy bears and his rubber duck.

Yesterday his speech from the Sinn Féin “away day” in Gormanstown was streamed live on Periscope through his Twitter page.

However, Mr Adams said his party are “very resolute” on the issue of cyberbullying within the party and provided a strong warning to members.

“No one representing Sinn Féin should be engaged in anything other than the very, very best of behaviour in whatever form of dialogue, or debate, or argument they’re involved in, but particularly in terms of social media,” he said.

“Because a lot of people’s heads were down when they were on the receiving end of it.”

Asked about the internal review of salaries for Sinn Féin Oireachtas members, Mr Adams said the ard comhairle was scheduled to deal with the issue in the next week.

“We have to keep pace with the demands that are on people in these difficult times,” he said.

“We always saw the need to subsidise our activists as people have families to rear and do all of the things we all have to do like mortgages and getting kids through college and so on. We have been well served by the system we have had in place until now.

“But what we are now trying to do is put in place a system which is fair, which makes sure that people can keep pace with the demands on their lives but also which will service us for the next 15 or 20 years.”

He added that the “heart and the pulse” of the party is its volunteers and the party wants to maintain this ethos.

ICTU general secretary, Patricia King also addressed the meeting yesterday. The think-in continues today with Brexit among the topics up for discussion.


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