Questions have been asked in a stunned community and further afield about the merits of various websites, with one in particular website, ask.fm, coming in for a lot of criticism as a result of the bullying that Ciara was subjected to.
Ciara’s father Jonathan Pugsley appealed to young people to communicate with each other and their parents.
He said he wants young people to know that taking your own life “is not the right thing to do.”
“Just don’t do this, your family and your friends need you,” he added, saying that he wants Ciara’s unnecessary death to make young people and parents aware of cyber bullying.
He said he never thought his bubbly, chatty, confident daughter could be “vulnerable” to online bullying and he asked young friends to communicate “face to face” with each other.
Gardai (police) are investigating some of the last posts to Ciara on ask.fm. They are seeking to find the identities of some of the anonymous writers.
A friend of Ciara’s family, Eugene O’Neill, described the cyber-bullying as “dangerous” and “a lethal weapon.”
Speaking at Ciara’s funeral Mass, O’Neill stressed Ciara “did not want to die ... she was driven to it. She was driven to it by this appalling evil that has invaded our community. Internet bullying attacks our young most vulnerable people 24-7. They cannot get away from it.”
Cruel Dog Owner
A LETTERKENNY farmer has been banned from owning a dog for two years after he was convicted of “appalling” animal cruelty.
Leslie Stewart pled guilty to the cruelty of a dog at his farm on September 5, 2011.
ISPCA inspector Kevin McGinley told the court he was alerted to the health of the dog by a concerned member of the public and he attended the farm with dog warden Jackie Murphy.
They located the dog in a laneway dragging its back legs along the ground. The dog was unable to walk on all fours.
There was large open wounds on the animal’s legs with “an offensive smell” emanating from the sores.
McGinley contacted the owner who arrived at the site and told him the dog had been in that condition for “four to six months” after it was stood on by a horse.
When asked why he did not contact a vet the court heard he stated, “What’s the point?”
McGinley said he seized the dog which later had to be humanely put down because of the injuries.
The court heard Stewart has a previous conviction for a similar offense.
Solicitor Kieran O’Gorman said his 64-year-old client lived alone on his farm and didn’t want to put the dog down after it got injured but realizes it should have been.
Judge Paul Kelly viewed pictures of the injured dog and said it was “appalling.”
He fined Stewart €300 with €151.48 in costs and banned him from owning a dog for two years.
Crime Doesn’t Pay
THREE robbers were unable to enjoy the fruits of their crime as the proceeds of a West Clare aggravated burglary were used to pay for their getaway taxi.
Three criminals, who targeted an 82-year-old woman, her son and daughter in Kilmurry McMahon, made their way to the house in a taxi and called another cab to escape.
Their escapade ended, however, on the outskirts of Ennis when, after paying their €45 taxi fare – just €5 short of the proceeds of their crime, they were apprehended by Gardai.
The family was subjected to what Gardai described as “an awful ordeal” when three masked individuals set upon their house on a recent Friday evening.
The culprits smashed the family’s front window before conducting the robbery from outside of the house by threatening and demanding money from the “severely traumatized” family.
When one of the occupants attempted to come out the window he was struck on the head with an implement, but Gardai confirmed that he was not badly injured as a result.
A small amount of money, believed to have been €50, was handed over to the criminals, who left on foot before getting into a taxi. The male occupant of the house raised the alarm by going to a neighbor’s house and the Gardai were called.
A 19-year-old, 18-year-old and a juvenile aged 16 were arrested on foot of information received by witnesses.