A campaign to target the inaugural Dungarvan Pride Festival by online trolls has been described as “pathetic”.
The Co Waterford town’s first ever LGBTQ+ pride festival, a free event held at Walton Park in Abbesyside, was partly funded by Waterford City and County Council with organisers working hard behind the scenes for the showpiece event 10 days ago.
Local Sinn Féin councillor Conor McGuinness said that organisers and some performers were subjected to a barrage of homophobic trolling online in the wake of the festival.
Cllr McGuinness told local radio that this type of bigoted online campaign needed to be dealt with and said he stands in solidarity with all involved in last week's very successful, family-friendly event.
"Unfortunately, in the days that followed, the festival itself and a number of individuals came under sustained and coordinated online vitriolic and deeply homophobic attacks," he said.
"A number of individuals were singled out - one in particular. The abuse and the vitriol that was levelled was so mean-spirited, was so damaging and was so unfair," said Cllr McGuinness.
He added that we have all seen the kind of tragic result that can stem from this kind of abuse if it goes unchallenged.
"The trolls who hide behind fake accounts online and who spew hate, they don't represent anybody. They don't speak on anybody's behalf.
"They have little or no support. Their hatred and their bigotry has no currency - people don't take them seriously. But, it is dangerous and it's deeply, deeply unpleasant.
"It's really unfortunate that it happened in the wake of such a great festival."