Higgins thinks death threats came from ‘right-wing nationalist’

Labour Senator has contacted gardaí about receiving two threats in recent days

Senator Lorraine Higgins at Pearse Street Garda Station on Tuesday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Senator Lorraine Higgins at Pearse Street Garda Station on Tuesday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne


Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins says she believes the person who sent her a death threat is “a right-wing nationalist or a dissident republican”.

She will give a full statement to gardaí at Pearse Street Station in Dublin on Thursday and is also writing to the Oireachtas asking what can be done to protect TDs and Senators from abuse.

Ms Higgins made an initial complaint about the contact to gardaí on Tuesday.

She told The Irish Times she did not know the person who emailed her twice in recent days threatening to kill her, but she did not think it was one of two others who had sent death threats in the past.

“The language is different. This is by far the most serious,” she said.

“It’s plausible to assume it’s a right-wing nationalist or a dissident republican. He said Sinn Féin was the least of my problems. He mentioned protecting the ‘homeland’ and he mentioned a particular machine gun. Most people wouldn’t have names in their lexicon.”

Ms Higgins was warned in an email the author would “blow” her nose off. A Blaser R93 rifle was referred to and she was told she should go away “while your still breathing”.

The email continues: “Nothing better than to fill a rat’s mouth with Lead.”

Another email included a link to a YouTube video of a man using a gun to shoot moving targets.

Ms Higgins has gone public about being targeted online since she stood for the European elections in May 2014. She has introduced a Bill in the Seanad aimed at attempting to curb online abuse.

She confirmed she would write to the Oireachtas Commission, which runs Leinster House.

“I will be making the point about health and safety legislation covering employees at work who are subjected to mental and physical dangers, employers in any other situation would be bound by that.

“What options are they going to put in place for Oireachtas members subjected to abuse by virtue of their position in employment?”

The Garda press office said: “We are in not in a position to discuss named individuals.”