Ex-Taoiseach Bruton: No one should be allowed to comment anonymously

Shane McEntee

The former Taoiseach and Meath TD John Bruton has said those who tweet messages to radio or TV shows should not have their views aired unless their names and addresses are given.

His comment comes as colleagues of the late Fine Gael TD and Minister Shane McEntee say he was upset in the weeks leading up to his death because of abuse he received on social media websites.

The 56-year-old was found dead at his home in Nobber in Co Meath on Friday.

His removal will take place this evening while his funeral Mass will be held tomorrow morning at St John the Baptist Church in Nobber.

John Bruton said the trend of submitting comments to discussion programmes over social media was worrying, "particularly thanks to the anonymity that people enjoy in tweeting in comments which are then broadcast and given status in radio programmes as if they were coming from somebody who was prepared to stand over what they were saying.

"In fact they are being delivered under the cowardly cloak of anonymity."

He added: "If there is a lesson to be learned, it would be that only comments that come from people who give their name and address should be broadcast, because otherwise you're just licensing people to lower the tone of the discussion."

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