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Put up or shut up, Linda Ervine tells trolls

Irish language campaigner denies 'raking in the cash'

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Linda Irvine

Linda Irvine

St Michaels GAA v East Belfast GAA.  St Michaels' Daniel Conlon and East Belfast's Dave McGreevy during tonight's match in Magheralin.  Photo: Pacemaker Press

St Michaels GAA v East Belfast GAA. St Michaels' Daniel Conlon and East Belfast's Dave McGreevy during tonight's match in Magheralin. Photo: Pacemaker Press

Linda Irvine

Irish language rights campaigner Linda Ervine yesterday issued a challenge to online trolls to "put up or shut up" over claims she is only in it for the money.

She also said the social media abuse she receives was in line with a wider targeting of high-profile women.

In a message to the internet bullies, Mrs Ervine told Sunday Life: "If you have evidence, go to the papers. If you want to come into my office, you can go through the cupboards. I have nothing to hide."

The sister-in-law of the late PUP leader David Ervine works for a Methodist church in east Belfast, which is her only source of income.

Last month she was named president of the new East Belfast GAA club, but the position is voluntary.

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St Michaels GAA v East Belfast GAA.  St Michaels' Daniel Conlon and East Belfast's Dave McGreevy during tonight's match in Magheralin.  Photo: Pacemaker Press

St Michaels GAA v East Belfast GAA. St Michaels' Daniel Conlon and East Belfast's Dave McGreevy during tonight's match in Magheralin. Photo: Pacemaker Press

St Michaels GAA v East Belfast GAA. St Michaels' Daniel Conlon and East Belfast's Dave McGreevy during tonight's match in Magheralin. Photo: Pacemaker Press

The club was established as a cross-community initiative, with the founders coming from GAA and rugby backgrounds and Malone Rugby Club offering the use of its facilities.

Yesterday Linda called out some of the abuse she had received on Twitter, some of which claimed she would want a united Ireland "if she could make money out of it".

One troll said the GAA club was causing "division and confrontation" while the campaigner "sits back and rakes in the cash".

But Linda said: "This just seems to be just an easy thing to attack me with.

"I do think there is a lot of misogyny in some of the online stuff. I see women being attacked more for things, people like Carla Lockhart, Naomi Long, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Maria Cahill and Ann Travers.

"I work in a Methodist church. I don't earn a particularly big wage. I left a job as a teacher to take up my present appointment. I work more hours than I get paid for, which is my own fault.

"I don't have any other means of income. I manage a project and I do a bloody good job, but I don't know what this issue is that I'm raking it in.

"We get funding for our project and we are not even a particularly well-funded project.

"I have always been very open and very transparent."

She also joked: "I'd love a bit of this money I'm supposedly raking in."

Belfast Telegraph