Speaking at a conference organized by youth organization Foróige, Ireland’s President, Michael D Higgins, has slammed what he described as “the appalling, destructive reality of homophobia”.
He described suicide resulting from racism and homophobia as an appalling blight on a society.
"The idea that any young person would be driven not just to lower self-esteem, exclusion, isolation, loneliness but self destruction itself is an appalling blight on a society," he said.
"We have to ask about how racism gets going, how homophobia does its destructive work, how isolation tears at a person's wanting to exist, how important every person is. These are important issues, they are not merely emotional issues."
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and boy band musician, Westlife star, and Foróige Alumnus, Kian Egan also spoke at the at the 42nd Annual Foróige Leaders' Conference in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry, Dublin.
Foróige is Ireland's largest youth organization. It works with almost 57,000 young people and 5,125 adult volunteers annually under 534 youth clubs.