Davy Fitzgerald has described cyber bullying as “the most cowardly assault” on young people.
Addressing 300 Transition Year students at the Shannon Foynes Port Company Compass Transition Year Schools Competition final today, the All-Ireland winning manager and player said that one of the most effective ways of bringing cyber bullying to an end would be to close down on internet anonymity. He urged the Irish government to take a lead with an international response.
Salesian College, Pallaskenry walked away with a €2,000 cheque and ipads for each of the six team members after beating off four other schools from Clare, Kerry and Likerick in today’s final attended by the Foynes Aviation & Maritime Museum. The finalists were whittled down from an original entry list of 41.
Fitzgerald gave an inspirational address to the captivated audience on a range of topics relating to teenage life, with a heavy focus on cyber-bullying.
“I have a particular concern about teenagers and cyber bullying, and bullying in general. I have no problem in saying it; it sickens me to the core. The cowardly way that cyber bullies hide on anonymous forums is appalling. These are faceless people saying the nastiest things about young people and not caring at all what the effects are.
“Why would you make fun of someone? Why would you laugh at someone? No one is perfect; we all have our flaws. No matter what you come from or where you come from, you are all worth the same in life.”
Fitzgerald who is now manager of the Wexford senior hurlers urged young people affected to not think they are alone. “If you come across bullying and might feel you are alone, you are not. Just talk to someone. And remember; there will be better days ahead without a shadow of a doubt.
“The other thing that absolutely happens is that our government does all it can to bring an end to people being able to post these messages anonymously. If we can’t do it on our own, we need to get with other nations on it but it just can’t be allowed to continue.”