Mother links son’s suicide to cyberbullying

Woman tells coroner’s court she found ‘horrific’ messages on phone

A mother who suspects her teenage son’s suicide is linked to cyberbullying told the Dublin coroner yesterday she has found “horrific” and “threatening” messages on his phone.

Elaine Hughes, mother of Darren Hughes-Gibson (17) from New Haven Bay in Balbriggan, Co Dublin, said she believes her son would still be alive today were it not for the messages.

Dublin Coroner's Court heard that a number of people have been interviewed following the discovery of the messages and gardaí are considering further action.

The inquest into Darren's death had previously been adjourned after Ms Hughes raised concerns that he may have received threatening messages on Facebook prior to being found dead at a warehouse in Stephenstown Industrial Estate in Balbriggan on August 23th, 2012.


The court had heard he was found in the abandoned building by a friend who went searching for him after seeing on Facebook that he was missing. When gardaí investigated Darren's mobile they found a text message to his mother which coroner Dr Brian Farrell described as a "farewell note".

Ms Hughes told the court she believed that her son had been bullied because he was mixed race and had a hearing aid. Threatening messages had been deleted from his Facebook account following his death, she said. Dr Farrell adjourned the inquest to allow time for gardaí to secure information on Darren’s accounts from Facebook.

Garda Derek Dalton said that there are two to three avenues of investigation that have yet to be exhausted.

Addressing the coroner, Ms Hughes said she found the messages on the phone after it was returned to her by gardaí following the first day of the inquest.

“They are horrific, the things that they were saying to him,” she said, “There were messages on the phone saying the things they were going to do to him and that they wanted him dead.”

Dr Farrell adjourned the inquest for another mention on June 12th.