Cork's Holly Cairns 'absolutely terrified' by stalker who showed up at her home 

Cork's only current female TD has spoken out about the levels of abuse she faces in the course of her job. 
Cork's Holly Cairns 'absolutely terrified' by stalker who showed up at her home 

Cork South-West Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns said she might never have run for election had she known the extent of abuse faced by female politicians.

CORK’S only female TD has spoken out about the levels of abuse she faces in the course of her job, and the actions of a persistent stalker which left her “absolutely terrified”.

Cork South-West Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns said she might never have run for election had she known the extent of abuse faced by female politicians.

“If I knew what I was getting myself into, no, I would not have done it… I don’t regret it,” Ms Cairn said, speaking on Virgin Media podcast The Group Chat. “But honestly, had I known... probably, no, I wouldn’t have done it.”

The 33-year-old said a persistent online stalker began to show up at her home — including at times when she was in Dublin for work — and changed how she behaved “in every single thing I did”.

“I felt then like every message I got was somebody who could potentially turn up to my house… It interferes with your job to the extent that you can’t do the same things as your constituency colleagues — it impacts you every step of the way,” she said.

Ms Cairns has been advised by gardaí not to run a constituency clinic, because it would advertise where she would be at specific times, probably alone, and has been forced to install security at her home. “I’m from West Cork. I didn’t have a lock for a door, even if I wanted to, we didn’t have a key for the door, I didn’t have blinds, I didn’t have any kind of security,” she said. “Now I have CCTV, I have blinds, I have locks, I’m hyper aware.”

  • Season 3 of The Group Chat airs at 11pm on Wednesdays on Virgin Media Two and is available to download on all major podcast platforms on Thursdays

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