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A Cork-based Facebook page has incurred the wrath of an East Cork community after falsely posting about a fatal accident in the village on the page.
The page, Garda Checkpoints Cork County, posted at the weekend that a haulage lorry had overturned on the exit of Ballycotton “by the proddy church.”
The administrator proceeded to name a driver of the lorry in the fictional accident.
What followed was a series of violent and abusive comments directed at people rebuking the administrator of the site for posting a name and an accident which did not occur.
A transcript of the original conversation, now deleted, was obtained by the Cork Independent and saw comments from the administrator such as “Driver is dead lorry hit wall and overturned,” and “driver is dead mother in hospital with child.”
After over 160 comments, the administrator posted a message saying he was not in control of the page and had turned over permissions to a stranger while his wife was in hospital having a child. While he initially apologised, he most recently retracted a pledge to close the page and told people to “Rev up and f*** off.”
Attempts to contact the original administrator of the page have proved unsuccessful.
One woman who had been engaging in the conversation spoke of how the conversation turned nasty with people wishing she would “f***** die you idiot.”
"He employed a random fella to do the site and he started posting about the crash in Ballycotton,” said Lindsey Garde.
“I was curious about the crash so I rang my friend who lives near the church and she said nothing had happened. So I went online and told him to cop on, and then I got all this abuse, telling me to go away and die.”
“At the end of the day Garda checkpoints are there to save lives so I don’t agree with pages like this. I was more angry than upset at what was said to me.
However the administrator of the original Garda Checkpoint page, which has over 20,000 followers compared to the 6,000 in the County, stressed to the Cork Independent that his site has “absolutely nothing to do with that facebook page.”
“There was no need to set up two pages in the same page, it is just confusing,” said Paul, the administrator of Garda Checkpoints Cork.
“When I am posting information on my page I always verify with someone else to ensure confirmation. I don’t know who runs this page but he copied all the pictures and style I had so I was forced to change all my pictures. It is very confusing for people, and as we saw, distressing for people.”
Paul believes that a situation like this could allow the Gardaí a reason to shut down his page, despite Garda spokespeople previously saying there was nothing illegal about the page.
A website is currently nearing completion for national updates on Garda checkpoints while Paul also revealed that a smartphone app is also in the works, with localised updates for users.