A mother living in Co Meath has said she feared for the safety of her young child after being subject to abuse online that began after a tweet by a well-known former journalist Gemma O'Doherty.

Fiona Ryan, her fiancé Jonathan Mathis, and their 22-month-old toddler Jonah, took part in a TV and billboard campaign for supermarket chain Lidl.

Earlier this month, Gemma O'Doherty tweeted a picture of the ad, and said: "German dump Lidl gaslighting the Irish people with their multicultural version of 'The Ryans'. Kidding no one! Resist the Great Replacement wherever you can by giving this kip a wide berth. #ShopIrish #BuyIrish."

Ms Ryan said the producer of the TV commercial rang her shortly after the tweet was posted to let her know about it.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, she said she was "physically shaking" when she first saw the tweet, and that she could not believe someone would look at her family negatively.

Straight away Lidl asked Twitter to remove the tweet and it has been taken down.

Ms Ryan said she then went through other tweets and responses and took screenshots of the ones that "for want of a better word were racist".

She said she does not like reading Twitter comments, but that she had to in this case, because she wanted to report the situation to gardaí.

"When I read through them I was pretty shaken. I feared for my safety and my son's safety. It was pretty harrowing, and I don't think anyone should be subjected to that kind of online abuse."

Ms Ryan said she rang the gardaí after assembling screenshots of tweets from a number of Twitter accounts, but was initially told that it was a civil matter.

She said that did not feel right to her, so she went to the garda station a few days later to follow up.

Ms Ryan said she has since received a letter from the Victim's Support Unit saying she has been assigned an investigative officer.

"I think that there's a lack of understanding to deal with this kind of issue. We have to think about how we protect people on social media. It's not regulated."

She said she and her fiancé Jonathan - who is originally from Brazil, but grew up in the UK - are angry that their child was brought into the situation.

She said they would consider leaving Ireland as a result of the abuse.

"If my 22-month-old son has to live in a country that doesn't protect his right to be who he is, then I'm not going to live in a country that does that to my child."

RTÉ News has attempted to contact Ms O'Doherty for comment but has not yet received any response.