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Trolls target Cool FM DJ Stuart Robinson and nurse girlfriend

Cool FM star shocked at abuse over night out as lockdown eased

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Stuart Robinson and Katie McKenzie

Stuart Robinson and Katie McKenzie

Stuart Robinson and Katie McKenzie

Radio presenter Stuart Robinson says he and his nurse girlfriend were abused online after going on a night out as coronavirus restrictions were lifted earlier this month.

Pubs and restaurants reopened their doors on July 3 for the first time since lockdown was introduced to the delight of business leaders and large sections of society.

However, despite the cautious optimism of that weekend Stuart says he was targeted on Facebook by "social media shamers" who disapproved of him and partner Katie McKenzie (29), who is a nurse at the Nightingale Hospital, going out on the town.

The Cool FM man said: "I went out on the Friday and Saturday so was kinda expecting it as I know what people are like but I was taken aback by how blunt people can be. We went out together on the Saturday night and I had seen there was pile-on by some people saying that going out was problematic but I wanted to do something positive for the hospitality industry by supporting them.

"We had a lovely time and everything was being done properly and people were behaving themselves which was great, but then when I put a post about it on Facebook, I was stunned by some of the responses.

"One person called us 'ridiculous' for going on a night out while another said they hoped we wouldn't have the audacity to call the NHS for help.

"It's funny because Katie, my other half, is an NHS worker at the Nightingale Hospital in Belfast, so I informed them of that and said we had very much enjoyed our night out, thanks!

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Cool FM DJ Stuart Robinson out for a drink after lockdown

Cool FM DJ Stuart Robinson out for a drink after lockdown

Cool FM DJ Stuart Robinson out for a drink after lockdown

"I was told she should feel ashamed of herself and should 'wash herself off' before going back to work. I was shocked.

"I replied to these people telling them she is very aware of her responsibilities and does not need to be scolded by some clowns on Facebook.

"Negativity is one thing but nastiness is different and I felt it crossed that line. There was a bit of a backlash to the comments from supportive people and fellow NHS workers on the post also.

"Many people agreed with us that anybody who has been working on the front line for the last four months is going to be looking forward to going out and having a few drinks, that was the overwhelming vibe I got anyway."

Stuart, who also presents on Downtown Radio and Downtown Country, says he appreciates people feel differently about social distancing but believes those feelings should not cross over into abuse.

He added: "I appreciate it's each to their own, everyone has their own reasons for the way in which they move forward, but don't have a go at members of the public for using a pub or restaurant when everyone is being responsible. Don't have a go at somebody else for getting out when they can, it's like a lot of these social media shamers, what ever happened to minding your own business?

"I just wanted people to know it was a safe experience and show that the hospitality industry was doing really well."

Belfast Telegraph