SOCIETY FAILED TEENAGE SUICIDE VICTIM ERIN, PRIEST TELLS MOURNERS

first_imgSOCIETY failed Erin Gallagher, the 13-year-old bullied schoolgirl who died by suicide, a priest told mourners at her funeral today.A white coffin bearing the remains of the Finn Valley College student was carried into the Church of St Mary Immaculate, Stranorlar, for Requiem Mass at 11am.Hundreds of people packed into the chapel, with heartbroken friends crying during the Mass. Erin’s mother Lorraine, sister Shannon and brother Sean were supported by family and friends.Erin died on Saturday after being taunted online on the website ask.fm.Mourners heard Father John Joe Duffy question the level of resources available to dealing with bullying and criticise the failure to monitor and ban websites.“I am asking all agencies and arms of the State who are responsible for the care of children to finally come together and formulate a comprehensive policy of prevention and support; of helping individuals so that this day will never have to dawn on another parent or family in this country again,” said the priest. “This is the challenge we as a society now face. We are only here today because society has failed Erin Gallagher.”He said that the “authorites may hide behind technical and other difficulties but these sites can be regulated and they must be regulated.”He went on: “This is not the first tragedy, but let it be the last but it can only be the last when we face the reality that we are not standing up to this as a society.“As a country we are very good at after care after the fact but we fail miserably at prevention.“We have seen the excellent support these past few days from professional services but must take a step backwards and ask what levels of support were available and where were they before this tragic event.” He said he didn’t want to take away from the excellent work done after Erin’s death.But he went on: “Do we have the resources available to man the front line in terms of prevention.“Have we national policies in place? Have we the guidelines for prevention to avoid this in the future?“Is it known and is it clear who we turn to if we see a similar situation develop? “I am challenging those who are charged with the care of children to assess whether their assessements and responses are fit for purpose.“There is a responsibility on all of us to protect our children and children should not have to experience the tragedy that we have here today.“Those charged with their care must reflect on this tragedy. Currently there is much debate on children’s rights but have we the supports which are so necessary?“Have we as a society failed to prioritise the needs and cares of children at a time when everything is being cut back?“Have we employed the necessary social workers, counsellors and psychologists so that the very basic services are available on the ground at the frontline where it is most needed.Society, he added, had failed Erin Gallagher.During the Mass, a teenage friend broke down crying as he read a poem in Erin’s memory. When he finished, there was a round of applause from the audience.Outside the chapel, school children wept as Erin’s coffin was lifted into the hearse, some of them touching the side of hearse.Others released pink balloons.The schoolgirl is being laid to rest at a private service in Castlefin.SOCIETY FAILED TEENAGE SUICIDE VICTIM ERIN, PRIEST TELLS MOURNERS was last modified: November 1st, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ask.fmBallybofeyErin GallagherFacebookonline bullyingPRIEST TELLS MOURNERSSOCIETY FAILED TEENAGE SUICIDE VICTIM ERINStranorlarteenager suicidelast_img