The Leitrim father of a teenage suicide victim has urged Irish politicians to take "urgent action" after a 12-year-old girl took her own life this past weekend.
Ciara Pugsley from Co. Leitrim took her own life in September after an online campaign of bullying. Her father Jonathan told the Irish Independent he was saddened to hear of the loss of another young life, after it emerged that 12-year-old Lara Burns committed suicide on Saturday.
“It is devastating to learn that another young girl has taken her own life,” he said.
"My heart goes out to the Burns family because I know what they are going through."
A first-year student at Maynooth Post Primary School, Burns was the third girl to take her life over the past two months. Erin Gallagher (13) from Donegal also took her own life in October.
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Jonathan Pugsley urged politicians to take action against bullying.
"I've tried to research all of this and it seems to me that the politicians in this country have spent the past 10 to 12 years talking about bullying but have done nothing about it.
"The time for talking is over. We need urgent action now and urgent policies now to prevent further deaths."
In the wake of the weekend tragedy, the victim's aunt, Jeannette Rich, said the family were trying to come to terms with the death.
"She was young and had her whole life ahead of her. She was a beautifully talented young girl who had the world at her feet.
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"Our whole family is devastated by this and don't want this to happen to anybody else's family," she wrote on a special Facebook page created in Lara's memory.
The family asked, in lieu of flowers at her funeral, for mourners to donate to Pieta House, a suicide prevention home in Co. Kildare.
Maynooth Post Primary School principal Johnny Nevin said the school were ensuring councilors were on hand to help students.
"This is a terrible tragedy for Lara's family, our school and our community. We are deeply saddened by these events. Our sympathy and thoughts are with Lara's family and friends.
"Lara will be missed by all who knew her. We have been in contact with Lara's family and they have requested that we all understand their need for privacy at this difficult time," he added.
Her funeral is to take place on Wednesday at St Mary's Church, in Maynooth, Co. Kildare.
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