Ryan Tubridy last Friday night.
On RTÉ Radio One this morning, Ryan Tubridy interviewed the father of Lara Reddy, age 7, who said his daughter had received abusive messages following her appearance on the Late Late toy show last week.
It gave the host the opportunity to give the internet a piece of his mind.
Which he took.
Grab a strong tay.
Ryan Tubridy: “The Toy Show took place as you know on Friday night and it was great and it was warm and it was kind and people seemed to enjoy it themselves at one stage nearly twp million people gathered round the TV to say ‘yeah that’s good craic’. Families and friends gathered I’ve heard so many lovely stories about reunions and getting together to watch it and I know the London Irish Centre emigrants living over there gathered to watch it they met there and ate crisps and drank beer and had fun it’s just one of those strange things that brings people together I heard of foreigners watching it for the first time and they said that’s a lovely event whatever the hell’s going on there there’s a kindness to it and a magic and a sweetness to it and that’s that’s quite right its a magical night for the children watching and for the children taking part… children like Lara Reddy who’s seven… delightful funny little girl from Swords whose dad is on the line now, good morning, Mark.”
Mark Reddy: “Good morning, Ryan, how are you?”
Tubridy: “I’m all right but I’m not great.”
Reddy: “Ah sorry to hear that.”
Tubridy: “Because I just don’t like what’s happening here…. the main big colour photographs on the front of the Irish Independent and the Irish Examiner and the headline which features yourself on the cover story of the Evening Herald today all features Lara with the words ‘racism’ and ‘abuse’.”
Tubridy: “And trolls.”
Reddy: “Yeah. We arrived back to find that, Ryan, it was a magical experience and we left on a high we came back and we received a bombardment of wonderful supportive comments and texts and messages it was brilliant but one or two of the Facebook pages had what could only be described as trolls who used the opportunity to be very racist with paedophile undertones and very abusive over a three minute sketch of a six-year old having a great time, which is heartbreaking really.”
Tubridy: “Yeah I was kind of I was in two minds as to whether or not we should even be talking today in the sense that this is a very small group of people.”
Reddy: “Very small, thank God.”
Tubridy: “A very angry nasty vile group of people who you know in many ways if we didn’t talk about them here they’d be forgotten about in other words I worry about giving oxygen because the others you know, all the kindness, is far more present and abundant in numbers.”
Reddy: “Oh, massive mass outpouring of kindness.”
Tubridy: “But you’re very keen to talk about this, you want this as an issue.”
Reddy: “Well I’m in two minds, Ryan, it’s an issue that they say don’t feed the trolls but some people and sometimes you have to challenge these things because it’s not fair and it’s not right and it needs to be challenged and it’s not only in this particular case but it’s across the whole media in regard to people making assumptions about organisation much like, let’s say, an Garda Siochana or anybody else and feeling they have the right to bash us and bash a 6 year old child without actually knowing the facts.”
Tubridy: “So when when you were reading this stuff, what were you thinking?”
Reddy: “I was appalled. We were very upset. We tried to stay with the positives… to come back on a high and to see the lovely comments and to see this sort of thing creeping in it made us very worried we would have to share this small and lovely country with people like this…the ignorance is gas Sine’s Vietnamese by birth but they were relating her to North Korea and certain types of Asian people that’s just cruel unintelligent and fairly evil overall and that then couple with that then a sort of tinge of paedophilia and the undertones of that side of things was just very very scary.”
Tubridy: “Hmm. That is the way of online, I think … you know, there is this element that will almost be there and you know it . seems to be un-policeable, was there any sense that Lara’s character was called into question, that you as a family were … any legal grounds?”
Reddy: “It was a tough one to call They used the ‘My Little Pony Song’, which is about a cartoon of plastic animals… this minority there, they are a vile and evil part of life and sometimes they need to be challenged and need to be highlighted and what happens when you do if you do is normally. Most of them will run away and hide, they’ll delete their posts and they’ll run.”
Tubridy: “So when you talk to us this morning what would you like to achieve about this conversation
Reddy: “Well I hope really People will maybe be less judgmental maybe look at the facts and understand that its not appropriate to go on and talk about a child irrespective of your own personal feelings to go on and be negative on media such as Facebook and Twitter is both very dangerous for them and very unfair overall.”
Tubridy: “Well look, I ’m an adult apparently and I don’t read online because it’s just, it’s too mean spirited and I don’t read it, even if it’s kind I don’t read it.. I’m just saying I’m not trying to avoid reality my realty is human beings who say to me this that and the other which I’ll accept but not people hiding in the bushes whereas this is a child and that’s different. You see with children all bets are off you don’t mock a child, you don’t mock or slag a child ever under any circumstances.”
Reddy: “Exactly, we thought that was sacrosanct, nobody would ever said that this would have been in all the media of whom we haven’t talked to and that it was such a big and popular page re the positive side of things but to allow this to filter in was very scary, very scary that somebody felt that they have the right to abuse a child.”
Tubridy: “Well, it’s pathetic actually, they are pathetic people who feel the right and the need to slag off a six year old child to be racist wasn’t there a animal rights job having a go at her as well, seriously lads, it’s My Little Pony…”
Reddy: “You know, you mentioned there about social media, it’s a very strong medium but it can be used for both good and bad and so there’s a lot of people doing very good work on social medial my own twitter account would be mental health and I see that quite a lot, it’s a medium that needs to be monitored and maybe people need to be challenged more about stuff and maybe the likes of Facebook and Twitter should put in place more security with regard to this side of things.”
Tubridy: “If it’s possible I often say and sometimes it feels like a broken record sometimes it feels like the Wild West out there, there are no laws and there are no rules and there’s no sheriff. “
Reddy: “Yeah, that’s very true.”
Tubridy: “So you can have the good guys walking round, like you guys, you know talking about mental health but then you’ve got the he others who are, you know, psychologically challenged, I’d argue and writing this stuff down the bottom of a bottle of wine on a Friday night… I’ll tell you, I walked out of this building on Saturday with bunch of kids in here to sing for, I think it was, Sean O’Rourke, and they chased me down as far as my car singing word for word the My Little Pony song, it’s become a thing… The thing about being offline, you have the democratic choice to be offline and it’s very liberating, so I’d recommend it.”
Listen back in full here