THE Church of Ireland bishop who married David and Victoria Beckham was forced to cancel his Twitter account following attacks by internet 'trolls'.
The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton, is the latest victim of Ireland's cyber-bullying epidemic.
52-year-old would not comment in detail on the matter, saying he wanted
to "ponder" on the issue and that the attacks were "depressing".
Dr Colton, an avid supporter of Manchester United with 3,000 Twitter followers, has sent more than 23,000 tweets on a variety of topics including family life and sport.
he is understood to have become increasingly concerned at the nature of
tweets he received, particularly from 'trolls' who delight in posting
vitriolic messages anonymously.
And his decision to leave the
social-media site after he was sent various negative tweets about the
Christian churches provoked a storm of protest from his Twitter
On Wednesday morning, he tweeted: "Depressing and
infuriating to wake up to such venomous generalisations and hatred about
religion and clergy on my Twitter timeline."
The attacks against
Dr Colton come shortly after the tragic death of junior minister Shane
McEntee, who was also the victim of social-media abuse.
Gallagher (13), from Ballybofey, Co Donegal, committed suicide last year
just 24 hours after she warned cyber-bullies on the ask.fm website to
stop bullying her.
Another teen, Ciara Pugsley (15), took her own
life in Dromahair, Co Leitrim, after being bombarded with hate messages
on the same site.
Yesterday, the Irish Independent revealed a 16-year-old schoolgirl in Ballincollig, Co Cork, was the target of cyber-bullying until her teachers intervened.
Colton, who was nicknamed "Purple Spice" after he married the Beckhams
in July 1999 at a ceremony near Dublin, declined to comment further on
His Twitter account has been completely removed.