Taoiseach Simon Harris has urged Irish athletics star Rhasidat Adeleke to not let "online cowards"  impact her after her coach detailed the racist abuse she has received over the past few months. 

Adeleke, who won one gold medal and two silver at the recent European Athletics Championships in Rome, was targeted with racist slurs by online trolls, her coach Edrick Floreal told Q102′s Weekend Sports Breakfast.

Floreal said the racist abuse impacted Adeleke, who was left in a "dark place". 

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, Harris described Adeleke as a "world-class person" and said the country was proud of her. 

"Rhasidat Adeleke is not only a world-class champion, she is a world-class person. You have inspired a nation this week, especially young girls & boys. You are class, so please do not let online cowards bring you down. You are Ireland and Ireland could not be more proud of you," Harris said in a post on X. 

Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI) said it was "appalled but unsurprised" to learn that Adeleke had been subjected to online abuse. 

"SARI (Sport Against Racism Ireland) is appalled but unsurprised that one of Ireland’s magnificent young athletes, Rhasidat Adeleke, who gave the nation such joy at last week’s European Athletic Championships in Rome, has suffered racial abuse online," Sari said in a statement. 

"It is shocking that one person - the only black member of a wonderfully talented team of athletes - can be targeted in this manner. This is another wake-up call for our legislators and those who govern Irish sport.

"Unfortunately, working at the frontline of diversity and inclusion for decades, SARI has little confidence that institutional Ireland will set about tackling this threat to the wellness of our society in anything like the profound manner needed." 

Adeleke's mother Adewumi Ademola paid tribute to her "little girl" in an interview with the Mail on Sunday. 

"It’s too much for her. She’s just a little girl. I don’t know. It’s not good for her. It’s really awful," she told the Mail on Sunday. 

Ademola added that she was "so low" because her daughter has returned to Texas following the European Athletics Championships and is "so far away". 

"I don’t want anything to happen to her. There’s no one with her. I just want to see that she’s OK."