Photo credit: The Left via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Paul Murphy TD is facing sustained criticism after he was accused of ‘doxing’ a primary school child online because he asked a journalist who had written about pupils being told to use ‘they’ pronouns to a teacher if she had a child in the class.

The journalist, Barbara McCarthy, had written a story regarding pupils ages 8-9 being told to describe their ‘gender-neutral’ teacher as ‘they’. Murphy asked Ms McCarthy if “it was true” that her child was in the class in the Educate Together school, prompting a furious response online.

The socialist TD’s tweet  has been viewed some 204,000 times but only liked 112 times at time of writing.

Many said they had reported the Dublin South West TD for “doxing” a child. Doxing refers to publishing private or identifying information about a particular individual on the internet.

“Are you, a sitting TD who has rightly complained about protestors outside your home, trying to out a parent and thereby a child in this school? What on earth is wrong with you? Have you no ethics whatsoever?” one response said.

Commentator Dr Jane Holland said: “For a politician, an elected member of the Dáil, to publicly post the school / location of a journalist’s *child* because of a news report she wrote… would be a very serious breach of ethics IMO. If that’s what has just happened?”

“Paul, are you going to take this down? You are publicly attempting to intimidate a journalist, using her child, because you personally didn’t want her to write about this subject,” another woman wrote.

“You are publicly revealing the location of that journalist’s child. And indeed, the journalist herself. It doesn’t matter what the subject of her article is, how unhappy you are with it or who her sources were. You, a sitting TD, are attempting to subvert the freedom of the press, intimidate a female journalist and put a young child at risk of serious harm. Everyone can see this. Why are you doing this? What is happening in your mind right now that you think this is a reasonable thing to do? Please take this down,” she continued.

There were hundreds of calls for the PBP/Solidarity TD to delete the tweet – while others called on X to take action against Murphy, and for the journalist’s publishers to defend her.

“@IrishMirror I hope you support your contributing author, financially & legally, should she decide to seek remedy against this man who’s attempting to doxx her child because he disagrees with her article? This is a safeguarding risk to minor children & abuse of this platform @X, “one comment read.

One teacher described Murphy’s post as “vile”: “This is a vile post trying to spotlight a journalist, and in turn, her child, to your followers and people who might be angry about what is correctly reported. Have you lost your mind?”, he asked.

Restaurateur Paul Treyvaud said that he was not going to retweet Murphy’s “horrible and sick tweet” but said the TD “should be forced to resign with immediate effect”.”What he has just done is put a child’s safety at risk. This is far from acceptable and he needs to be brought to task for this despicable act,” the Kerry chef tweeted.

Commentator Keith Mills described Murphy’s tweet as “a patently obvious attempt to intimidate a journalist by targetting her child. There was no effort to dispute the facts of the story.”

Another, Robert Burke, said Murphy’s tweet was “as low as it gets”.

“As we see on a regular basis those who preach compassion and tolerance are the most vicious and nasty,” he wrote.

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