Sunday 28 December 2014

Neknominations: Archbishop blames social media and drink culture for tragedies

Published 04/02/2014 | 11:29

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin
Jonathan Byrne who died in a river in Co Carlow
Ross Cummins, who was found dead on Saturday, with his girlfriend Niamh Murphy.

THE ARCHBISHOP of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has blamed social media for creating peer pressure which has led to the recent ‘Neknomination’ tragedies.

Speaking at Terenure College in Dublin last night, the Archbishop also hit out at Ireland’s ‘Culture of drink’.

He also blamed the 'complex culture of social media' for contributing to the dangerous trend.

“When we talk about meaning and hope, about the fundamentals about what life is about, the sense of goodness and truth and where young people anchor the values of their lives, there is a vast challenge which the wisdom of age and experience and a depth of faith can bring to young people” he said.

“Just think of the pressures that young people, especially vulnerable young people, face today: from their peers, from the complex culture of social media, from a culture of drink and how even one mistake can possibly ruin a life. 

“Examples abound as we have seen tragically in these days.”

He was speaking after the social media trend was linked to the deaths of two young men in recent days.

The deaths of 19-year-old Jonny Byrne and Dublin DJ, Ross Cummins are believed to be related to the trend.

The trend, which started in Australia, sees the participant challenged to down a pint in one.

While it began with beer, it soon evolved to include spirits such a whiskey and vodka as participants attempted to outdo each other.

The videos have become increasingly more extreme as the trend has evolved - Jonny Byrne died after jumping into a river as part of his challenge.

Facebook has come under increased pressure to remove the videos - however has so far refused to ban them.

Irish Independent

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