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NUJ condemns vile smear of journalist

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5 February 2020

The National Union of Journalists has condemned as “vile and dangerous” graffiti posted in the Creggan area of Derry attacking journalist Leona O’Neill.

Leona tweeted a picture of the tweet last night which accused her of being an M15 tout and a shit stirrer. Leona described the tweet as a threat to her safety.

She added: “I am neither a MI5 tout nor a shit stirrer. I am a journalist, working in my city trying to provide for my family. I consider this a threat to my safety. I call on community leaders to help me get this dangerous slur removed now”.

In a joint statement Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary, and Séamus Dooley, assistant general secretary, said:

“We strongly condemn this vile and dangerous threat. It is a clear attempt to intimidate a hard working, committed journalist. Leona has proven herself to be a journalist of resilience with a strong passion for Derry. We would call on civic and community leaders to support journalists and to defend media freedom.

"There can be no place in a democracy for such behaviour. Journalists must be free to report without intimidation. to describe a journalist as an agent of a police force is dangerous and poses a threat to their ability to do their job.”

Tags: , Leona O’Neil, derry, journalists attacked