90% of TDs and senators have been threatened physically or verbally in the course of doing their jobs, a Newstalk survey has found.
The survey of almost 100 politicians found that online threatening abuse is now a daily occurrence for many elected representatives.
A number of TDs and Senators (46% of respondents) have received death threats online, while some have received threats against their family.
Only a handful of respondents said they'd never been threatened physically or verbally.
One politician told The Pat Kenny Show reporter Barry Whyte he was attacked after leaving a meeting he attended.
Another male TD said his car has been damaged and his office vandalised, while one rural TD described people approaching his wife and children on the street and roaring abuse at them.
The abuse experienced by female TDs seems to be even worse.
One female TD, meanwhile, said she was recently approached by a man who verbally abused her.
She said it was so aggressive that she at one point thought she was going to get attacked.
The same TD said she will no longer use the DART as she's afraid and has been approached so many times.
Another female senator said she is constantly in fear, and recently a man approached her and threatened to set his dogs upon her.
Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy says the abuse has taken a huge toll on him.
He said: "I get emotional about it... I think, as a man, people probably think you don't get emotional about it and you shouldn't get emotional about it.
"What affects you is [that] the people you love are being hurt."
Politicians' concerns and fears
A number of politicians told Barry they wouldn't miss their job if they lost it tomorrow - leading to fresh concerns that the level of abuse may turn people off politics.
Some of the politicians Barry spoke to said they now won’t go to social events out of fear - including some who said they avoid going on hen parties or stag parties in case they are noticed.
Some said this already happened, and they have been verbally abused while being at such a social event.
94% of the politicians who responded to the survey also believe protests outside politicians homes should be illegal.
Many TDs and senators also think anonymous social media accounts should not be allowed, and anyone looking to create a social media page should have to produce ID.
Yesterday, Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond explained that many of his colleagues receive "really nasty personal abuse", often from anonymous online accounts.
He said: "We as public representatives... we kind of have to mid each other, but we also should call it out when we see it."
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) November 4, 2021