Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has become the victim of vicious internet trolls as he mourns the passing of his father Jim Joyce.
Joyce reportedly raced home from Canberra to his family’s farm in the New South Wales electorate of New England to be by his father’s side. It’s expected that Joyce will be taking leave from Parliament for the rest of the week following his father’s death on Tuesday, July 26.
A spokesperson for Joyce confirmed the news of his father’s passing while thanking those who offered their “kind wishes”.
“Barnaby Joyce is mourning the loss of his father Jim Joyce, aged 98, who sadly passed away last night,” the spokesperson said.
“He appreciates the many kind wishes and thoughts being extended at this difficult time.”
However, for all those who delivered messages of support for Joyce in his difficult time, there were sadly just as many who attacked him for his absence from Parliament.
Former Nationals leader Michael McCormack defended his former colleague, demanding those posting “nasty” comments to “lay off”.
For all those tweeting nasty things about why Barnaby Joyce was not present in Parliament for the opening day today, lay off. His elderly father Jim is seriously ill and Barnaby is where he should be – at his bedside. Thoughts go out to the family at this difficult time.
— Michael McCormack (@M_McCormackMP) July 26, 2022
Despite a number of trolls criticising Joyce for missing Parliament, there were still plenty of Australians who reached out to offer their condolences and support.
Condolences to the Joyce family.
What a fascinating ride James must have experienced though!
Experienced WW2 as a teen/young adult and soldier through to the internet age – and all the highs and lows of his son’s career.
— Brent Hodgson (@BrentHodgson) July 27, 2022
Heard about your father passing @Barnaby_Joyce
Lost my father ten weeks ago yesterday, so do understand the sadness you must be feeling.
— Prize Won (@noozchoozy) July 27, 2022
We are sorry for your loss. #StayStrong
— @MunawarSarker (@rememberingmunz) July 27, 2022
Bugger. My sincere condolences to him and his family.
— Mike John (@MikeJoh95744443) July 27, 2022
Jim Joyce was a former livestock vet, World War II veteran and father-of-six.