The family of an 18-year-old girl who took her own life after enduring a relentless campaign of bullying in Ireland have spoken out about their heartbreak.
Similar to the torment experienced by Phoebe Prince in South Hadley High, 18-year-old Leanne Wolfe, overdosed on prescribed medication in 2007, after a group of youths made her life a living hell.
Leanne Wolfe committed suicide four years ago and left behind a devastated family. After her death, they discovered details of the true extent of her torment in her diaries.
As part of Irish TV3’s 'Stamp Out Bullying' campaign, the victim’s older sister Triona spoke about the loss of her young sibling.
She revealed that after reading her sister’s diaries she blamed the bullies for her death: “I said to my Mom that they as good as killed her.”
An RTE Radio 1 documentary entitled 'The Diary of Leanne Wolfe,' featured heartbreaking extracts from her diaries over a six-year period.
In a interview with TV3 at be broadcast next Monday, her sister talked about her heartbreak.
“When I found her diaries, it did make sense. The hair on your hands would stand up if you read the way she felt, the way she was tormented. Your heart would break all over again.”
Triona said that it is very difficult to move on as none of the bullies have been prosecuted for Leanne’s death.
“We were told they couldn’t do anything because Leanne did it herself, but they certainly nearly pushed her over the edge, they made her feel like she was worthless and nothing and that her life wasn’t worth living. But she was my sister and their (my parents’) baby.
“The night she died, the gardai handed me her phone and there was a text message that called her a prostitute. It said they were coming to pound her face in ... I said to my brother, if that’s the likes of what Leanne was dealing with, she didn’t have a chance.”
During the interview, older sister Triona called on anyone who witnessed bullying not to be afraid to intervene.
“I’ve spoken to so many people who have hit a brick wall with their schools. There’s a lot that goes on that teachers aren’t equipped to deal with… they’re not taught how to deal with children in different life circumstances.”
Listen to the audio of Triona’s interview here.