| 6.3°C Dublin

Schoolgirl (13) takes her own life over web bullies

A 13-year-old girl found dead at her home over the weekend had warned online that she would "put a rope round my neck".

Just 24 hours before her death, Erin Gallagher fought with bullies on an internet forum.

Gardai have launched an investigation into her tragic death in Ballybofey in Co Donegal on Saturday night but it is believed she died by suicide.



Devastated

Relatives were too upset to talk last night but her elder sister Shannon left a heart-breaking tribute on a Facebook tribute page saying: "No one deserved what you what went through."

Erin's death comes just six weeks after Ciara Pugsley (15) took her own life in Dromahair, Co Leitrim, after being bombarded with hate messages on the site ask.fm.

Her father Jonathan said that he was "completely devastated" that another teenager had taken her own life.

Erin had also been using the same ask.fm site as Ciara.

In a post on Friday, the day before she died, she responded to a comment which appears to refer to her being the victim of a physical attack in which she'd had her hair pulled.

She wrote back to her anonymous tormentors: "Do u think ur funny bulling me over ask.fm yeah u prob think it was funny when a f**in put a rope round my neck cause of yous, yous are that sad!

"Leave it now u had ur f**in fun get over it! My hair wasnt all over the ground trust me plus stop going round saying a got a bald patch I had or have no bald patch!"

The teenager, lived with her mum Laura and elder sister Shannon on the Silverwood estate in Ballybofey, took her own life 24 hours later.

She was a second year pupil at Finn Valley College in Stranorlar, about a mile away.

Devastated school principal Frank Dooley said: "The pupils and the staff at the school are very upset at Erin's untimely death and we want to pass on our deepest sympathies to her family. We are putting procedures in place to deal with this tragedy.

"Erin was a lovely girl, a very good pupil, who was manneredly and pleasant in the classroom. It is too early to speculate as to the reasons behind her suicide and I would appeal to parents to caution their children about comments they may make on the internet."

In her Facebook tribute, the dead girl's sister Shannon wrote: "I love you darling. It's so hard to say you're gone. Everyone's heartbroken. I couldn't have asked for a better sister."

Ask.fm is a website where users can upload posts anonymously.

After Ciara Pugsley's death, the company issued a statement saying it operated successfully around the world and that they had only had bullying issues "in Ireland and Britain".

hnews@herald.ie


Privacy