A HARD-hitting anti-bullying campaign which has led to a surge in calls to a children's helpline has been joined by A-list actor Colin Farrell.
The Hollywood star, rugby player Jamie Heaslip and Irish pop sensation Siva Kaneswaran of The Wanted are the latest celebrities to join the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) campaign.
The campaign, which kicked off in August, is the brainchild of Westlife star Mark Feehily, who revealed he had been subjected to a brutal campaign of bullying by fellow students during his teens.
'X-Factor' judge Louis Walsh, actress Saoirse Ronan and Eurovision stars Jedward have already signed up for the campaign, which features disturbing photographs of themselves made up to look like assault victims.
Now the bruised and battered faces of Mr Farrell, Mr Heaslip and Mr Kaneswaran will feature on billboards all over the country to raise awareness of bullying.
The slogans on Mr Farrell's poster states: "Imagine if every child knew what it felt like to be loved and protected" while the slogan on Mr Heaslip's states: "Imagine if every child knew there was someone to talk to". The celebrities agreed to get involved to encourage their young fans to come forward if they are being picked on.
Mr Heaslip said: "This campaign is an important one in highlighting the issue of respect. Respect for yourself and also for others so that fewer children will turn to bullying and think it is acceptable -- which it never is."
To contact Childline, phone 1800 666 666, text 'talk' to 50101 or send an email through the website at www.childline.ie.