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June 5, 2019 12:22 pm

Irish Singer Faces Death Threats, Online Abuse After Competing in Eurovision in Israel

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Sarah McTernan. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A singer who recently represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel revealed that she was harassed and threatened online after performing in the Jewish state.

Sarah McTernan, 25, told The Irish Sun, “Oh my God, I got threats, I got letters. Horrendous stuff online with someone threatening to do something to me. I had hundreds and hundreds of people messaging me saying the most horrible stuff. I got a few ­sinister threats. They were telling me ‘you have to be careful’, ‘watch where you go’, ‘you never know where I’ll be’, ‘be careful who you’re with’. That kind of stuff.”

The singer said the abuse “got worse and more and more intense” as time went on, adding, “It did freak me out.”

Among the letters she received in the mail, some included messages that called her stupid, and said, “you are a disgrace,” as well as, “you are a silly little girl who doesn’t know anything about anything.”

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McTernan was the focus of an open letter published in April by BDS groups and Irish LGBTQ activists who attempted to pressure her to boycott the Eurovision competition in Israel, which the signees accused of “pinkwashing.” Eurovision took place in Tel Aviv from May 14 to May 18.

McTernan explained that the online threats and abuse were too much for her to handle to the point that she stopped going online for a few days leading up to her performance in the second Eurovision semi-final. She also told The Irish Sun she was not looking for sympathy, and said throughout the ordeal, “I have kept my head high and stayed positive and that’s what I will continue to do.”

She still receives abusive messages online but does not read them.

“If I go on Twitter I will find ridiculous comments even though I changed my profile pic,” she said. “I post something on my Facebook and within ten minutes I have to delete ten comments. I’m still getting horrible messages but one of my best friends is on my Facebook and Twitter and she goes on and deletes them before I can see them and she has been doing that through the whole process. She also redirects some of the emails that come in for me so I don’t have to see it.”

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