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Trolls target PUP's Julie-Anne Corr Johnston over tweet about Parades Commission


Abuse: Julie-Ann Corr Johnston

Abuse: Julie-Ann Corr Johnston

Abuse: Julie-Ann Corr Johnston

A Loyalist councillor was subjected to a torrent of "sick abuse" on Twitter after criticising the Parades Commission.

Social media users rallied to the defence of Julie-Anne Corr Johnston of the PUP after she was vilified following a tweet she posted on Friday.

The councillor had questioned the impartiality of the parades watchdog in the wake of the Tour of the North march.

Ms Corr Johnston's comments led to a massive online backlash, with many unleashing hate-filled abuse at the councillor, who recently told the Belfast Telegraph of her struggle to accept her homosexuality.

She posted some of the offensive tweets on her Twitter account along with the message: "The last 24 hours. Is it because I'm a loyalist or a woman?"

One Twitter user had written: "That thing is no woman!"

And another posted: "Try taking a baton round in the face you loyalist s**tbag."

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PUP leader Billy Hutchinson described the comments as among the worst he had seen.

"The remarks are vile and disgusting and no one should be subjected to a campaign of sick abuse like this on social media," he added.

"While those who are responsible for the remarks are reprehensible and abhorrent, there are others who should have known better than to encourage this type of comment through remarks of their own."

Former Alliance MP Naomi Long was one of many who tweeted their support to the councillor.

"Public figure, female and has an opinion - I think that's Troll Bingo full house," she wrote. "Rise above it."