NEWS — 19 February 2014

Ciara Pugsley

By staff reporter

THE father of a young Irish girl who took her own life has said he wants to raise money to prevent suicides in the future.

Jonathan Pugsley, whose daughter Ciara was fifteen when she committed suicide in September 2012 following abuse online (on the Ask.fm website), says he wants to raise funds to stop this happening to other young people.

Mr Pugsley hopes to cycle from Mizen Head to Malin Head – a 600km journey, beginning on May 25. His aim is to raise thousands of euro for Console, Ireland’s national suicide prevention charity.

He told the Irish Independent: “Unfortunately, we probably all know of someone who is not enjoying such good health and I hope I can help others by doing this. I know from my own personal experience that the help given by organisations like Console is totally invaluable and it often goes unnoticed.”

“It will be very emotional. I’ve shed tears over it already. But I have to do something to help others. I think about Ciara every day; maybe time will heal things and perhaps this cycle will help me.”

Ciara was found dead in woodland near her home in County Leitrim two weeks after she had been cyber-bullied According to her family she had everything to live for and came from a tight-knit family.

But she fell victim to bullies on the Latvia-based Ask.fm website, which allows its 65 million users to post questions and comments to each other, anonymously if they want, and which child- safety experts have called a “stalker’s paradise”.

You can donate to Jonathan Pugsley’s cycle, which has already raised nearly €3,000, at the link www.mycharity.ie/event/jonathan_pugsleys_event.

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