Fianna Fáil TD Mary Butler has reported a fake Facebook page to gardaí, which she said is being used to create the impression that she is "dismissive of victims of child sexual abuse".

The Waterford TD, who recently retained the seat she first won in 2016, said she has been subject to a sustained and co-ordinated campaign of "online hate and harassment", which she claims has intensified since her re-election.

In a statement released today, Ms Butler said she became aware that a fake 'Mary Butler TD' Facebook page had been created and was being used to 'like' and 'laugh' at comments on other Facebook pages.

"The intention and effect of this activity was to create the impression that I was dismissive of victims of child sexual abuse", Ms Butler's statement said.

"The account has since disappeared, but those images from it have been distributed through social media. I have reported this attack to An Garda Síochána and hope to meet with specialist officers later today. I have also suspended my Facebook account".

The statement went on to say that the effect of the incident has been "devastating" for Ms Butler personally, and for her family.

"My commitment to, and support for, victims of sexual abuse has been complete and unwavering".