‘We hope the talk will make people think before they type’

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A POWERFUL talk was given to young people in Tallaght Youthreach by the mother of a young woman who died by suicide in January 2018 at the age of 21, after enduring three years of relentless bullying by a group of girls.

Clondalkin woman Nicole ‘Coco’ Fox Fenlon took her own life after being targeted online and in person by the group, and since then her mother, Jackie Fox, has been giving talks to young people about the devastating effect that bullying can have, and campaigning for ‘Coco’s Law’, a law to make cyberbullying a crime.

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Jackie Fox with some of the students at the talk (Photos by Terry Warren)

A group of 20 young people from Youthreach Tallaght listened intently as Jackie, originally from Old Bawn in Tallaght, told them about Nicole’s story and her work in trying to enact Coco’s Law.

The talk, which took place on Wednesday morning, was arranged by Tallaght Youthreach workers Eimear O’Rourke, Tallaght Youthreach coordinator, and Lisa Warren, the centre’s resource officer.

Ms Warren told The Echo: “The talk went really well. I thought hearing Jackie’s story would be of value to the students.

“Some of the students found it quite hard to listen to, a lot of them were quite upset.

“You could’ve heard a pin drop while Jackie was talking.

“We hope that the talk will make young people think before they type, and to realise that what may seem like a bit of fun can have consequences.

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Youthreach worker Eimear O'Rourke with Jackie Fox

“A lot of them were taken aback by it all. It certainly gave them food for thought.”

Jackie’s story will be discussed by the students in the future when they cover the topic of bullying in their studies, while Jackie has been diligently campaigning for the implementation of Coco’s Law, with the government agreeing last month to draft legislation to deal with cyberbullying and other digital offences, including online harassment and sending threatening and indecent messages.

The Labour Party has stated that they will table amendments to the Bill when it is before the Dáil, to ensure that it will be named Coco’s Law.

Ms Warren added: “What Jackie has done in the short space of time since her daughter’s death is absolutely phenomenal.

“The whole point of these talks is to keep the campaign for Coco’s Law going and to educate young people.”

If you have been affected by this story and need support, please contact Pieta House Dublin South in Tallaght call 01 462 4792, for Pieta House Ballyfermot call 01 623 5606 and for Pieta House Lucan call 01 601 0000 or visit the charity’s website at www.pieta.ie. HOPE Suicide Prevention Centre Tallaght Facebook page or call 087 1363082 and Samaritans 116 12316

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