'We went through hell as a family due to online abuse' - Boxer
Former TD and Minister of State Kevin 'Boxer' Moran spoke publicly this week about the "hell" he and his family have endured due to false and malicious rumours about him which have been shared on social media.
In a high-profile interview published in yesterday's Irish Independent, the Athlone man said people have falsely claimed that he had cheated on his wife Michelle, that he had fathered a child with someone else, and that he recently attempted to take his own life.
He lost his Dáil seat in February of last year and said the disappointment of the election defeat had been compounded by the online abuse.
"I don't sleep. If people only knew the hell we went through as a family since I lost my seat," he said.
"People were putting stuff up on social media saying I had affairs, and another recent rumour is I tried to take my own life.
"I am a one-woman man, and I have always, always been... it's horrific what people think they can say about you and get away with.
"My sons were hearing this out on the street and saying, 'Daddy is this true?' My poor wife is an SNA (special needs assistant) and she had to put up with people talking about us."
He said he hadn't reported any of the social media posts about him to the Gardai, saying that many of them were deleted shortly after they had been posted, but by that stage the damage had already been done.
"It's such an evil thing to do to someone. People say to me to rise above it and don't let it get to me. But I'm only human."
He said he was currently spending his time renovating a boat that he purchased with the €16,000 lump sum he got at the end of his term in Government.
Despite the nasty social media posts, he said he would like to get involved in politics again in the future.
"I love the buzz of politics. I've got a few texts off people recently saying my common touch with people is missing with the current Government," he said.