AN IRISH folk singer has been bombarded with vile abuse since penning a song about Joe Biden's Irish roots.
Fearghal Kenneally, a folk singer from County Cork, had set up a challenge with his friend as the Presidential elections kicked off in the United States-- if Joe Biden won, Fearghal would write a song about him. If Donald Trump won, his friend would pen his own song.
The song Fearghal created-- Biden From Mayo-- celebrates Biden's Irish roots and plays around with the idea that while Mayo may not win the All Ireland, it will always be able to boast that the US President's ancestors came from the western county-- "We used to sing Mayo for Sam, now it's Mayo for Joe!"
The song is catchy, fun and, overall, harmless-- Fearghal himself describes it as "a bitta craic" and thought the witty song "might go viral below in Mayo" but never expected anything else from it.
As the song began circulating in Ireland, the response was "overwhelmingly positive", Fearghal said.
"I shared the song with friends and family in Ireland," Fearghal told The Irish Post, "and in Ireland 100% of the feedback was brilliant."
Then a friend suggested he should send the video to Irish CNN reporter Donie O'Sullivan-- who has over 200,000 followers-- and his colleague, John King, who is name-checked in the song as he became popular in Ireland thanks to his reporting during the elections.
"It was my first tweet," Fearghal said. "I had to be shown how to do it, how to set up Twitter and how to send a tweet-- my very first tweet was retweeted by Donie O'Sullivan".
"There was positive feedback" at first, Fearghal said, but it wasn't long before conspiracy theorists found the video and began targeting the musician on his personal page, with some writing "batsh*t crazy stuff."
"This one fella was asking me if I was with the CIA, and if we were helping Nancy Pelosi," Fearghal recalled, but said at first he assumed it was just "some eejit".
But when Fearghal shared the song to a 'Proud to be Irish' Facebook page for people with Irish ancestry, "it was like feeding time at the zoo".
The song drew dozens of comments from conspiracy theorists and Donald Trump supporters, with some downright refusing to even acknowledge that Joe Biden is the president of the United States, and others refusing to accept that he has Irish heritage.
"When the song reached America it went toxic," Fearghal said, adding that some of the comments were "a whole new level of stupid".
"The phone was buzzing, buzzing, buzzing," Fearghal told The Irish Post. "People were hurling abuse at me, and the song, and then fighting amongst themselves in the comments.
"Lots of people were saying I had no right to write a song about the United States, as 'we the people' didn't give permission and that Joe Biden has nothing to do with Ireland; that Biden wasn't from Mayo he was from Scranton, people asking me if I was stupid.
"One person asked me 'Are you really proud of this guy being Irish'?", and someone else warned me to 'Stay in Ireland and keep Joe Biden in Ireland'- in a group about being proud to be Irish."
"People were even accusing me of taking the Lord's name in vain by saying Paddy's Day instead of St Patrick's Day," he added.
Screenshots seen by The Irish Post show expletive-ridden comments and vile conspiracy theories about Joe Biden-- and by simply sharing the song about Biden's Irish roots, Fearghal was kicked out of the group and his post was removed.
"I was kicked off the page," Fearghal said. "It's shocking that a song that just referenced a guy who some people don't like could cause this much abuse. I was kicked off the page for doing nothing.
"We have a problem if we're being told that we're not allowed to sing a song by the US, we have a serious problem," Fearghal said.
"I'm not afraid to walk to streets, I'm 6'3", but as a musician, with people trying to intimidate you into not writing or singing songs about certain things, it's so toxic.
"But I never really expected it to even reach the US or London," he said. "I never thought it would go further than Mayo. I thought it might be a fun song for people to sing, especially when Joe Biden visits Ireland."
But Fearghal is still proud of the song, despite the backlash from certain circles-- and is not giving up on singing it live when gigs return, whether in Mayo, the UK, or even the US.