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Newstalk’s Andrea Gilligan opens up about her experience with ‘exceptionally nasty’ online trolling

Andrea Gilligan has opened up about her experience with “exceptionally nasty” online trolling.

Earlier this week, the Newstalk presenter spoke about Emily Attack’s BBC documentary, in which she discussed receiving explicit, unsolicited images and DMs.

Touching on her own experience, Andrea said: “I know from my own experience, I have had pictures sent to me on Instagram.”

“I’ve had photos from one guy, topless photographs, sent quite regularly, sent from the torso up,” the Donegal native continued.

“One [message] that really struck me last December was a guy telling me he had spotted me on a night out waiting for a taxi and could tell me where I was waiting in Dublin, close to a garda station and that I was there with a guy.”

“While there might have been absolutely nothing to that, it was only when I told other colleagues or friends that story that it probably hit me that I actually was a bit spooked by that.”

“And I’ve had all sorts of messages sent to me privately, others on social media, on Twitter, on threads, even to this particular show’s page. They’re still there… comments under videos.”

Andrea revealed she was left particularly shaken after a friend flagged a series of public comments made about her.

The presenter, who has hosted her lunchtime Newstalk show Between the Lines for two years, said: “When I did and I looked and I saw the extent of it, they were horrible, really nasty, very personal comments talking about me, my body, my appearance, everything you can possibly imagine.”

“Like, ‘Has she put on weight?’ Then naturally everyone has to chime in and give their opinion on that.”

“And that of course attracts a huge onslaught of further comments that come with it, all public. And it’s definitely got worse in the last two years, there’s no point in saying otherwise.”


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Andrea said she had “no issue” with someone saying they dislike her Newstalk show, or disagreeing with her opinions, “but I think when it comes to your appearance and body appearance and body shape, how you wear your hair, what clothes I chose to wear, it takes a different turn and it becomes exceptionally nasty.”

The Donegal native revealed that the online trolling was not restricted to just men, and about 95% of the negative comments are private “bitchy messages” from women on social media.

“It’s not an attack on men, not at all,” she said. “The bitching messages I receive, the majority of them are from women.”

“In my view, people are more used to giving their opinion now publicly and then they reckon everything’s a free-for-all. They reckon they can say whatever they want, to whomever they want,” Andrea concluded.


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