\"Phoebe

Phoebe Prince

Irish American nightmare for Phoebe Prince and her family

\"Phoebe

Phoebe Prince

Phoebe Prince's mother must feel like she is living in a nightmare.

Annie O'Brien Prince chose South Hadley as a place to live because her family had relatives there.

South Hadley, with its strong Irish heritage, would feel like a home away from home for the Princes while they adjusted to their life in America.

A schoolteacher and an American by birth, Annie O'Brien Prince moved over from County Clare with Phoebe and her sister, while their father Jeremy stayed behind in Ireland to sell the house.

It should have been an American dream.

Instead, it turned into an American nightmare.

Just last September, Phoebe enrolled in her first - and what would be her last - year in an American school.

Coming from a small town in Ireland where she had attended boarding school, she would have been doing her best to fit in.

But surely she could have felt secure in a town where people were called Mulveyhill, Narey and Mullins, all proud Irish American names.

Little did she know that there would be no Irish welcome from this particular group of Irish Americans.

Little did she know they would villify her as an "Irish slut," and "Irish whore" using "Irish" as a term of abuse.

Did the Mulveyhills, Nareys and Mullins not realize they were Irish themselves?

Neither she nor her family could have known what they were up against.

In the final weeks and months of Phoebe's tragically short life, the 15-year-old was pursued by this gang of bullies who clearly felt they could get away with it.

They pursued her through the school hallways, the school library, the school cafeteria and within sight of her home.

They made her life a literal living hell.

On Jan. 14 she was set upon in the school library where she was surrounded by the bullying teenagers. Some reports say a staff member saw this.

One of the teens blocked the door to prevent her escape.

Other students say she was seen crying that afternoon, on her way into the nurse's office.

Could no one have stepped in at any point that day - or earlier - to protect Phoebe Prince from her tormentors?

How will the parents of the Irish American bullies be able to face the heartbroken parents of Irish teenager Phoebe Prince who went home that same afternoon and hanged herself with the scarf her sister had given her as a Christmas present just three weeks earlier?

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