Cllr Melissa O'Neill says there needs to be 'an open and honest discussion, without name calling'
A South Kilkenny councillor has condemned the actions of online commenters who targeted a local hotel online over an event due to be host there this evening.
Independent councillor Melissa O’ Neill is launching her campaign for the upcoming May 2019 Local Elections in the Rhu Glenn in Slieverue tonight. She has invited Dr David Janes and journalist Herman Kelly to speak on themes such as Brexit and the future of Ireland regarding the EU.
A spate of negative reviews have appeared on social media in recent days, with some posters describing the event as 'racist' and 'fascist'. Cllr O' Neill says that people have also been ringing the hotel and verbally abusing staff.
"I was really disgusted because they could have contacted me first, but instead they attacked staff and management," she told the Kilkenny People.
"I was upset how they went about it. They really over-reacted. It wasn't just Facebook reviews, there were phone calls and emails.
"It's an election launch, and an open and honest discussion. People can come in, listen, and have a discussion, but without the name calling."
The former Sinn Fein councillor, who was among the first local councillors to welcome the resettlement of refugees in the Ferrybank area, said she was disappointed over some of the comments and language used. She said people were welcome to their views, however, the event was about issues facing Kilkenny, the region and Ireland.
"It is local, national, and international open and honest discussion," she said.
Cllr O’ Neill’s launch takes place this evening at 7.30pm in the Rhu Glenn in Slieverue.