Troll who sent vile message to Diane Dodds no longer on Twitter

The social media account used to send a vile message to DUP MLA Diane Dodds is no longer in use.

By Graeme Cousins
Monday, 3rd January 2022, 1:06 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd January 2022, 6:12 pm
Former Economy Minister Diane Dodds was the victim of 'vile' abuse on Twitter
Former Economy Minister Diane Dodds was the victim of 'vile' abuse on Twitter

Following a post from Mrs Dodds, who is married to former MP Nigel Dodds, wishing her followers a happy new year, an anonymous Twitter troll replied with an abusive response making reference to her dead son Andrew.

Andrew was born with spina bifida and died in 1998 just before his ninth birthday.

This morning, a search for the troll’s account bore the message “this account doesn’t exist”.

Andrew Dodds, who died in 1998, pictured with his parents Nigel and Diane Dodds

The account had used a picture of Prince Andrew as its avatar and made posts under the name Paul.

Twitter have been contacted to establish whether they removed the account or it was taken down by the user themselves.

Many Twitter users said they had contacted the organisation to report the tweet and claimed they had been told it “didn’t breach their standards”.

One user commented to say they were “shocked at that response”.

Alliance leader Naomi Long described it as a “vile comment” from “a sick individual desperately craving attention”.

She commented: “How or why anyone would taunt a mum about her dead child is beyond me.”

She said she had reported the tweet to Twitter and the PSNI and urged others to do likewise.

Meanwhile PSNI chief constable Simon Byrne said his officers were investigating the comments.

On Saturday he said: “We received a report of offensive comments made towards an individual on social media.

“We take incidents of this nature very seriously. We have spoken with her and our inquiries are continuing.”

Asked today if there was any update on the investigation the police press office said: “As the investigation is ongoing, we are unable to comment further.”

Anne Graham, whose brother Edgar Graham – a UUP politician and law lecturer at Queen’s University – was murdered by the IRA in 1983, said she had also been targeted by the same Twitter troll.

She said he frequently vilified her brother and celebrated his murder.

Addressing the troll, she said: “Paul is the gift that keeps on giving - he demonstrates the pathetic inability of the backwoods republicans and nationalists.

“Simply make up personal attacks and still defend the silencing of opponents by murder instead of pursuing rational argument, as barristers do, wigged or not.”

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