Davy Fitzgerald has questioned the character of anonymous online critics and stated online abuse has become a cancer in Irish society.
Current manager of the Clare Senior Hurling team, Fitzgerald was the subject of a RTÉ radio documentary by Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh and Sarah Blake. The broadcast brought to public light Davy’s views on the online abuse directed at him, members of his backroom team and panel.
Clare boss since the winter of 2011, Davy said he has no problem taking criticism as long as those giving it have the courage to put their name to their views. “If it wants to go online put your name to it, stand up and put your name to it, I do not believe these forums should be allowed, I think it’s time our Irish government stand up and say I’m not going to allow people to be bullied anymore by nameless people I think everyone should have to put their name if they want to bully you and have a go put their name out there because it’s too easy having potshots”.
In the past the Sixmilebridge native admits to struggling to deal with disparaging comments. As the years have passed he has learned to cope with it and doesn’t let it affect them. “I don’t get hurt as badly as I used to, I used take it all to heart and I’d feel like picking up the phone and I’d say ‘jesus what are you talking about, you don’t know me, you don’t know nothing about me’, now I couldn’t be bothered, there’s a lot of good honest journalists out there that are really good so we shouldn’t tarnish them all with the one brush I think that’s very important to say, there are really good journalists that I would respect and admire as regard that write good pieces”.
While he himself can ignore the criticism, Davy admits that members of the Clare panel, his family and backroom team struggle to disregard such opinions. “I have a family that look at things and listen to things or my backroom team who are like my family, they’re the people that really matter to me is them group of people I hate seeing them get hurt and they get hurt quiet easily and that’s the reason I’m probably so strong on the media and social media because I see how it affects them more than me and it does hurt them. I’m very adamant on that, that this has to stop in our society, I think it’s a cancer that has got in to our culture and it’s not right it’s not acceptable”.