Black woman inundated with racist abuse while tweeting for @Ireland

Blogger and plus-size model forced to take a break from Irelands community Twitter account after being told to return to your ancestral lands by trolls

A black British woman who was chosen to tweet from the @ireland account for a week has been subjected to a barrage of racist abuse, forcing her to take a break from Twitter.

Michelle Marie took over the account which is curated by a different Twitter user in Ireland each week on Monday. She introduced herself as a mother, blogger and plus-size model.

Originally from Oxford in England, she wrote she had settled in Ireland and it has my heart.

However, just hours after taking over the profile which is followed by nearly 40,000 people the abuse began.

Ireland / Michelle (@ireland) August 22, 2016

Here’s a perfect example of the trolling I receive on a regular basis. It’s what spurs me on to keep doing what I do

Marie responded by writing that being overweight doesnt mean I cant be beautiful or worthy or happy and described the impact body shaming had had on her mental health.

Ireland / Michelle (@ireland) August 22, 2016

Being shamed for my size and weight played a big part in me developing childhood depression, and also led to developing an eating disorder

However, that failed to stop the trolls abusing her because she was black.

James (@VaroLanius) August 22, 2016

@ireland You’re an African with an IQ in the 80’s representing a Northern European Island nation that has nothing to do with you.

End Cultural Marxism (@genophilia) August 22, 2016

.@ireland It is insulting for you, who genetically will never be Irish, to think you can represent Ireland. Return to your ancestral lands.

Marie received a lot of tweets of support, with many users urging her to report the abuse and block the users responsible.

Cork Pro Choice (@Cork4Choice) August 22, 2016

@ireland so sorry you’ve received such incredible racist hate. These tweets are frightening.

Leanne Woodfull (@LeanneWoodfull) August 22, 2016

@ireland You’re as welcome here as anyone. Truly sorry for the disgusting racism and ignorance you’re experiencing.

Ireland / Michelle (@ireland) August 22, 2016

Big thank you to all those standing up to the prejudice I’m facing. All I can think is wait til they find out I’m gay as well

James Hendicott, a Briton who had previously run the @Ireland account, said he hadnt been trolled at the time and the treatment of Marie was clearly racism.

James Hendicott (@jameshendicott) August 22, 2016

@ireland interesting that almost nobody took issue with me (a Brit+I said so) running the account. Clearly racism.What scumbags.I’m sorry :(

By the end of the day the negative comments began to take their toll.

Ireland / Michelle (@ireland) August 22, 2016

I need a break. I’m trying to get to the ppl who are tweeting good, insightful things, who I want to interact with, but there’s so much hate

Ireland / Michelle (@ireland) August 22, 2016

Nevermind the facts. That genetically I’m quarter white British. Or that the 3rd world home I’m meant to f*ck off back to is England.

She posted a statement saying that while she had expected trolls, backlash and criticism she had experienced racism, sexism, fatophobia and homophobia to a degree I have never known.

Ireland / Michelle (@ireland) August 22, 2016

This is all I have left to say for today…

After 8hrs of non-stop hate she said she was hurt, shocked and appalled but promised she would try again tomorrow.

Marie told the Guardian that the experience had been upsetting.

Im saddened that such extreme racism and vitriol is still rife. I am fortunate that experiencing this level of hate is a rarity, but for too many its a daily reality, she said.

The @Ireland account was opened in 2012 and is run by Irish Central. Irish Centrals website says as the Ireland of today is not confined to the island of Ireland, the varied voices of @Ireland come from Ireland and across the world.

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