Saturday 19 August 2017

Irish teenager who won 'Child of the Year' award thought he was being pranked

Image: YouTube.
Image: YouTube.

Cian Murray

A Limerick teenager who was awarded 'European Child of the Year' by French newspaper 'Mon Quotidien' said he didn't take the award seriously when he first heard he was being given the accolade.

Luke Culhane (13) hit headlines when his YouTube video entitled 'Cyber Bullying: Create No Hate' went viral in February of this year. The video has been viewed more than 550,000 times and recounts Culhane's own experience of being bullied online.

He told Kathryn Thomas on 2fm that when the newpaper first announced that he was the winner, he "didn't take it serious."

He said: "I didn't take it seriously at first. I thought it was kind of a joke. Then all the other newspapers started retweeting it and it got really big from there."

The viral video shows Luke being bullied over various forms of social media, with each insult resulting in a physical injury and then urges all viewers to play their part in stopping the problem.

His father, Dermot, restated that Luke thought the accolade was a joke.  "When he was informed about it initially, he thought they were having him on. It's only since it has gone viral again and it has been tweeted and he is getting fantastic messages."

Dermot also told of the pandemonium following the video's initial success. "It was on Sky News and Fox News. It went world-wide. It went absolutely crazy. Just last month alone, he was skyping a South African school teaching them."

"Before all this kicked off, I had no idea about cyber bullying or what to do, so I for one was educated by this video."

The teenager is now ready to move onto his next project. 

"Me and my friend are going to do a video and is going to be a tour of Limerick and all the good stuff about," he said. 

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