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Tragic teen 'may have been bullied' before his suicide

FRIENDS of a Dublin teen who died by suicide believed he was bullied in the months leading up to his death. Heartbroken Dublin mum Elaine Hughes buried Darren Hughes-Gibson (16) after an emotional ceremony in Swords.



The fun-loving teenager was known to his friends as Darren Power and nicknamed 'Austin Powers'.

But his closest friends believe that he was bullied to death.



Missing

Darren was deaf in one ear and it is believed that he was bullied, in particular on online on social networking sites.

It is understood that he suffered from a slight speech impediment.

Last week the young boy went missing from his home and tragically his body was discovered nearby last Thursday.

His final message on his Facebook page read: "What goes around, comes back around."

Grandparents Breda and Desmond Hughes, his mum Elaine, dad David, brothers, and sister were chief mourners at the ceremony at St Finian's Church, River Valley on Saturday.

A number of tribute sites have been set up in his memory receiving likes of over 10,000.

The priest who officiated at Darren's Funeral Mass said today that a very large number of mourners and friends attended the requiem mass in Saint Finian's Church, River Valley, in Swords.

"Rarely has our church been so full. We had placed Darren in a side oratory and people had been coming all day to the church," Father Niall Mackey told the Herald.

Father Mackey, who is the parish priest, said that Darren was known for having "a great sense of humour".

Pals said that Darren's "final journey" was heartbreaking.

"Two communities joined together by this tragedy. I have never seen so many young people under one roof, heartbroken," one friend said.

"The lashing rain today is nothing compared with the tears that flowed in the Church. You were so loved and you will never be forgotten."

Fr Mackey said Darren had attended the School for the Deaf in Cabra during his education, while his siblings attended the Holy Family school in Swords.

Even after they moved to Balbriggan, the children remained as pupils in the school in Swords.

The priest was unable to say if bullying had been raised as a significant issue in Darren's life.

Online sites have been set up to encourage other teens to talk about Darren and many made reference to the darker episodes he experienced during his short life.

"He killed himself because he was getting bullied. Gone but never forgotten," another friend said online.

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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