WEXFORD HURLING MANAGER Davy Fitzgerald has spoken out against the online abuse that he has been subjected to along with his father Pat.
Fitzgerald was speaking on The Late Late Show in the wake of his club Sixmilebridge releasing a letter which details the abuse that has been aimed at the pair.
The letter, which has featured in various media outlets this week after appearing in the Clare Champion, claims that “a line has been crossed.” The matter is also now the subject of a criminal investigation.
“In the last day or two, my club came out with a letter and the letter has been all over the media,” Fitzgerald explained in conversation with host Ryan Tubridy.” To tell you the truth, it’s been tough.
“Online bullying and certain things that would go on. It’s probably going on maybe four or five years. There’s pages and pages of abuse there and it isn’t nice.”
Fitzgerald’s father is the secretary of the Clare county board, and has been singled out for much of the online abuse.
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“I would have probably got a bit earlier on,” his son explains, “a few of them were glad to get rid of me out of Clare. And when I went, they said, ‘Oh sure he’s next to go, get rid of him as well.’ It didn’t stop.
“In my head before, when this was going on, I said to myself, ‘All the people in Clare want to get rid of you.’ But then I said to myself, ‘It’s only a bunch or a few people behind a keyboard who have an agenda.’
“If you see some of the stuff, it’s pretty out there. I’m glad my club came out with the letter and I’m so proud of them for doing it. The easiest thing for them to do would be to come out and say, ‘Davy, we support you.’ They didn’t, they went further than that.”
"To tell you the truth, it's been tough."
Davy Fitzgerald on the online abuse he and his father are subject to.#LateLate pic.twitter.com/8L1QnEUQKf
— RTÉ One (@RTEOne) January 8, 2021
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Speaking further about this sustained negative commentary that is being directed at his father, Fitzgerald added:
“He’d never let you see that, he’d be too proud. There’d be certain things he’d be very strong on.
“He’s just taken such a battering that he wouldn’t be the exact same way. But, he’s a fighter, I know he’ll be ok.”
Tubridy commended Fitzgerald for taking the matter to the Guards, and insisted that nobody should be subjected to online bullying.
“There is a lot of good in social media,” says Fitzgerald. “It’s just this one aspect I think we’ve gone down the wrong road in and I think we need to change. The more people that stand up against it is really important.”