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I was bullied so badly as a teen that I considered taking my own life – a simple act of kindness saved me

Things became very dark for Galway man Chris Sherlock during his school years after he was continually taunted and attacked. But now he’s making a career in radio and podcasts and is encouraging others who are the victims of bullying to not suffer in silence

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Chris Sherlock wants more young people to speak up if they are the victim of bullying. Photo: Ray Ryan.

Chris Sherlock wants more young people to speak up if they are the victim of bullying. Photo: Ray Ryan.

Chris is now forging a successful career as a broadcaster

Chris is now forging a successful career as a broadcaster

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Chris Sherlock wants more young people to speak up if they are the victim of bullying. Photo: Ray Ryan.

Over the last decade, partly in the wake of a number of notable international cases — including the trials of American students who had tormented Clare schoolgirl Phoebe Prince before her suicide — the perception of school bullying has changed from being an inevitable part of growing up to a social wrong that needs to be tackled. An Oireachtas committee report published in August noted that bullying is “widespread in every urban and rural school” in Ireland.

Data submitted by the Teachers’ Union of Ireland claims 7.6pc of children aged 11-15 will encounter “chronic bullying”. And while many schools do have policies on bullying, these can often be tokenistic and aren’t implemented correctly. Access to counsellors and therapists is scant and the consequences for this overall landscape are great. According to the Oireachtas committee’s chairman, Paul Kehoe: “It is not an exaggeration to say that school bullying can affect a person for the rest of their lives.”


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