Ann Travers: Why I have quit social media

Ann Travers: 'I just thought I cannot be bothered with this'
Ann Travers: 'I just thought I cannot be bothered with this'

The sister of an IRA murder victim has closed down her Twitter and Facebook accounts after online abuse.

Ann Travers’ sister Mary was murdered in Belfast in 1984 as she left Mass in south Belfast along with her father, Tom, a resident magistrate and the target of the IRA ambush.

In recent days Ann, who has been prolific on Facebook and Twitter, posted on her Facebook account that she was no longer going to participate in social media so she can spend more time with her children.

On Tuesday Ms Travers, who set up her social media accounts three years ago, said: “I have made some lovely friends over the last few years (on social media). I am not sure I am going to be able to stay away from Facebook, but I am not going back onto Twitter.

“Some horrible stuff has been said about me, my sister and my father on Twitter. They have no right to do that. I would not say anything on Twitter to anyone that I would not say to their face. I have blocked people but you still see stuff.

“Half the time you chuckle and ignore it but this past few weeks with what has been happening with Mairia Cahill it actually brought back to me how it was for me at the time of the SPAD bill. I just thought I cannot be bothered with this.”

In June 2013 the Assembly voted to bar anyone with a serious conviction from being a special political adviser (SPAD).

The bill was put forward by TUV leader Jim Allister after Sinn Féin appointed former IRA prisoner Mary McArdle – who was convicted for her part in the murder of Mary Travers –as a special adviser. Ann Travers launched a campaign that inspired the bill.

Ms Travers said she knows she had “more supporters than detractors” on Twitter but “I am going to end it now”.