Irish tenor Paul Byrom has spoken out about how he has experienced anti-Irish abuse since he moved to New York in December 2010. The abuse became so severe that he alerted the NYPD.
A former member of Celtic Thunder, the Dubliner told the Evening Herald that he and his girlfriend, Dominique Coulter, have been forced to contact police officials over the xenophobic attack in which he was told to “go back to Ireland and leave jobs for native Americans."
After landing a solo record deal, the talented musician relocated to the U.S. but has since been the target of hate mail.
"It's been going on for a couple of months now and the messages have been really nasty. When I came here originally, I was getting loads of fan mail and always always try to reply to them individually. But I was getting these really nasty letters being sent to my PO box in America from this one guy in particular, as well as his sister. They seem to have some sort of vendetta against myself and Dominique," he told the Evening Herald.
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Byrom (31) and his girlfriend Monique (26), who is the daughter of legendary composer Phil Coulter, said they initially ignored the comments until they were singled out on Twitter.
"One of their tweets said 'America's in an economic recession, go back to Ireland and leave jobs for native Americans. You're not wanted here.' They were slating Dominique calling her a wannabe Paris Hilton and just because she was Phil Coulter's daughter, it didn't give her the right to be here. I came home this week to find her in floods of tears and I just thought, 'enough is enough.'"
The couple, who reside in Sunnyside, reported the abuse to Twitter officials, as well as alerting local police.
"I just don't want them showing up to any of my gigs and trying to start something there. I don't mind taking the odd bit of abuse but for her to take it is too much so I contacted the police and they're looking into it. It is a form of bullying and I'm not going to tolerate it anymore."
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