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NUJ condemns shocking abuse of journalist

30 August 2018

The NUJ has condemned the shocking levels of abuse aimed at Glasgow-based journalist Angela Haggerty, who has been subject to hundreds of abusive messages in the past 48 hours.

On Tuesday, Angela announced on social media that, with the upcoming closure of the Sunday Herald and subsequent editorial changes, her job as a columnist at the paper and sister title, The Herald, would be lost.

Since then, she has been subject to a sustained campaign of vitriol, with many messages containing sectarian, misogynistic and even racist abuse. One message stated that “the Erskine Bridge is always open” – a place where people have been known to end their own lives.

In the abusive tweets, she was referred to as a “fucking vile cow” and “bitter little cunt”, as well as being called “fat” and “ugly”. References were also made to Northern Ireland paramilitary groups.

Other messages included:
 “Still, you can always rely on your good looks to get you a new job. Stamping your face onto Halloween cakes maybe?”
“Always the victim, Hag.”
“Good riddance ya dirty little reptile, back to yer cage where you belong.”
“Hope your life is permanently ruined.”
“There isn’t enough abuse for you, ya wee horrible excuse of a journalist. Bigoted little tramp that you are. Fuck you and fuck yer pope.”
“Someone’s hurting a lot. You deserve nothing cunt.”
“You deserve everything you get.”
“Get back in your box.”
“Some of the replies have been fantastic. And of course some are expected by those that would love to have a go on her.”
“Keep your chins up Angela ya rancid bitch.”
“Go home, get the dildo out and forget all about it.”

Angela Haggerty, who is of Irish Catholic heritage, joined the Sunday Herald as a columnist in 2015 and in late July 2018, after just three months in the job, she resigned as news editor, citing repeated and sustained online abuse. Until the recent editorial shake-up, she carried on with her weekly columns. She has been the subject of abuse and online trolling since editing Phil Mac Giolla Bháin’s book Downfall: How Rangers FC Self-destructed, published in 2012.
 
One of  Angela's abusers, David Limond, was jailed for six months over remarks he made in a podcast after being found guilty in December 2013 of religiously and racially aggravated breach of the peace. The NUJ supported Angela during the case and she has been a leading advocate against online abuse of journalists ever since.
 
John Toner, NUJ Scotland national organiser, said: “The egregious, concerted and frankly appalling abuse which Angela is being subjected to is shocking. For six years, she has been subject to sectarian and misogynistic abuse that has already seen one of her abusers put behind bars. The bigots and the faceless cowards sitting behind their keyboards will not win. The NUJ fully supports Angela and we call on all journalists everywhere to stand up against these bullies. The threats to journalists and journalism are increasing daily and we must stand united against abuse of any of our own.”
 
Angela's Twitter messages: Captain Haggerty on Twitter

Tags: , angela haggerty, online harassment, online abuse, twitter, scotland, Sunday Herald, sectariansim, trolls, sexism, misogyny