The organisation, Galway Alliance Against War, received an email last Saturday purporting to come from the newsroom of South East Radio in Wexford. Sent in response to a press release by the organisation, the email read: “Do not clutter our mail box with your f..king shit any more. FOAD (meaning f..k off and die) to you all.”
The email was received by Niall Farrell of GAAW and his 15-year-old daughter, Máiréad.
“It was really shocking,” said Mr Farrell. “Anyone I have mentioned it to has been horrified. It worries me about the mindset of the person who sent it.”
The managing director of the station, Eamon Buttle, said he was taking full responsibility for the incident. “We unreservedly apologise to Mr Farrell who is a gentleman of the highest standing and if we get to the culprit we will view this issue as seriously as we can.”
In a statement issued to Mr Farrell, Mr Buttle said: “I would like to sincerely and profusely apologise to you and your family for this vile reply which appears to have come from our newsroom. I am shocked and saddened by this incident and will do all in my power to resolve this issue speedily.”
Last night station manager Liam Dwyer said an extensive investigation was underway. “We have started our investigation and have been interviewing members of staff. We are not pointing the finger at any individual and must be methodical about this.”
However, Mr Dwyer added that if a staff member was responsible he or she would be disciplined.
“Not only was this offensive, it was mindless. Apart from the upset caused, it was just a stupid thing as well. It beggars belief. From the point of view of Mr Farrell we must emphasise that the management and staff of South East Radio have nothing against him.”
The press release sent was to highlight a demonstration in Galway to coincide with an air show next weekend involving British war planes.
“We don’t want war planes flying over Irish air space. It’s not an air show, it’s a war show,” said Mr Farrell. Nevertheless, he said he fully accepted the apology proffered by the radio station management.
The annual Salthill Air Show will be held on Sunday next, June 26.
Flying demonstrations will be made by the Royal Air Force, the Royal Netherlands Air Force and the Irish Air Corps.