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Twitter / Lidl

A mixed-race couple living in Ireland say they may leave the country after being subjected to vile abuse online after appearing in an advertising campaign.

Fiona Ryan, 33, her fiance Jonathan Mathis, 32, and their 22 month-old son feature in a television and billboard campaign for Lidl. The supermarket ad has been publicly displayed on TV and on billboards since September.

The couple say that they have been inundated with abuse on social media since the campaign launched. They told the Irish Times that people have accused the ad of promoting “race/ancestor betrayal” and criticised social welfare spending on immigrants.

Following reports of the abuse, Lidl said:

We are contacting the Ryan family regarding this online abuse and will be providing support after this unprovoked attack.

The couple, who returned to Ireland to live with Ryan’s family in 2018, took part in the advert to make some extra cash for the future.

After reporting the abuse to the police, the couple were left unsatisfied by the response. Ryan said:

I felt that wasn’t right . . . That our family wasn’t safe, so I began researching.

Reading them really affected me.

I was never aware people who could look at us negatively. 

Following the shocking level of abuse, the couple have pointed out that Ireland is currently lacking in hate crime legislation which is needed to tackle this problem.

H/T: Irish Times

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