Father speaks of daughter's ordeal and urges awareness of online bullying

Thu, Sep 27, 2012, 01:00

The father of 15-year-old Ciara Pugsley has spoken for the first time about his daughter’s death, which is being attributed to internet bullying.

Jonathan Pugsley said he wants his daughter’s death last week to make other young people and their parents aware of cyber-bullying.

He appealed to young people to communicate with each other and their parents.

Ciara, from Killargue, Co Leitrim, was found dead in woodlands near her home on Wednesday last week.

Students she shared class with at St Clare’s Comprehensive in Manorhamilton later discovered she was bullied on a website, Ask.fm.

Mr Pugsley said he wanted young people to know that taking their own life “is not the right thing to do”.

He pleaded: “Just don’t do this. Your family and your friends need you.”

Mr Pugsley said he never thought his bubbly, chatty, confident daughter could be “vulnerable” to online bullying. He asked young friends to communicate “face-to-face” with each other. He likened social media to gambling and said it is addictive.

Gardaí are investigating some of the last posts to Ciara on Ask.fm. They are attempting to identify some of the anonymous writers.