Tubridy warns internet is like the 'Wild West with no sheriff'
Published 21/04/2015 | 02:30
Ryan Tubridy has warned that the internet is "like the Wild West with no sheriff" as Childline highlighted the risk of suicide in young people.
More than 300 Irish children at "urgent risk" of suicide contacted the service last year.
According to the annual report of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC), Childline answered 462,505 calls over the course of the year.
More than 1,000 of these calls related to suicide.
Speaking at the event yesterday, Childline ambassador and RTE broadcaster Tubridy stressed the importance of the service.
"Today, bullying is all access, all areas and all day," he said. "I hate that [the internet] is like the Wild West - there's no sheriff, and everyone is exposed.
"But there is help at the end of a phone."
ISPCC chief Gráinne Long, expressed concern over the volume of calls from suicidal children and teenagers.
"While the vast majority of calls are not from children at urgent risk, we are extremely concerned about the level of risk some children are under.
"In some instances, children have gone beyond threatening to take their own lives, and have acted on this."
Nearly 30,000 calls were made about sexuality and sexual behaviour, while 22,000 calls were about psycho-social and mental heath issues.
While there has been a reduction in the number of calls relating to bullying, online abuse and "cyber bullying" remains a key issue.
Childline is contactable by texting 'help' or 'bully' or 'talk' to 50101 or by ringing 1800 666666, all free of charge.