| 12.6°C Dublin

The world must quickly catch up on cyberbullying

LIKE the rest of the country I was deeply shocked to read about the death of 13-year-old Erin Gallagher.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the schoolgirl, who was bullied on social networking websites.

Just weeks earlier Leitrim teenager Ciara Pugsley (15) ended her life after suffering similar online bullying.

The deaths of these two innocent girls should give us all cause for alarm.

It appears that we are helpless when it comes to combating this scourge.

Two months ago Erin's parents reported the incidents of bullying to the gardai. But it seems that there was little officers could do without proof or evidence that the schoolgirl had been physically harmed.

And the trolls who carry out this behaviour are able to remain anonymous.

One site reportedly used by Erin, ask.fm, guarantees its users anonymity.

It appears extremely difficult, if not effectively impossible, to trace its members.

The only path open to young people being targeted is then to tell parents of the abuse -- and to take screenshots.

And parents -- it's better to be accused of prying into your child's privacy than the alternative.

Until international law catches up and deals with cyberbullying this is the only course of action open to us.