Lorraine Gallagher – both of whose teenage daughters took their own lives – tells Channel 4 News she wants the controversial Ask.fm social networking site shut down.
Warning: some viewers may find the accompanying video distressing
Lorraine Gallagher has suffered more than any parent should. Last year both her teenage daughters took their own lives within a few months of each other.
In her first television interview – and still trying to come to terms with what happened – Lorraine told Channel 4 News she wants the Ask.fm website shut down.
13-year old Erin Gallagher hanged herself in the family home last October. Her mum says she’d been bullied at school and on the website. Erin left a note saying she couldn’t take it any more. In the note she mentioned Ask.fm.
I was very upset when I started reading about it. It was a mirror image of Erin. Lorraine Gallagher
Ask.fm made headlines recently after the death of another teenager, Hannah Smith. Lorraine says she found out about the latest death from the breakfast TV news as she fed her baby son. She saw a picture of Erin before she knew what had happened to Hannah.
She told Channel 4 News:
“I was very upset when I started reading about it. It was a mirror image of Erin.”
A few months after Erin died, her 15-year-old sister Shannon took her own life. Her mum says she missed her sister too much.
Although Lorraine accepts suicides are caused by many factors, she says for Erin – and so indirectly for Shannon – Ask.fm was the last straw.
I don’t want to see another child has killed themselves because of bullying on Ask.fm. Lorraine Gallagher
“I know you probably can’t shut it down, but for it to be anonymous, that’s just inviting bullies,” she said.
“I would love to see it shut down. I don’t want to go and see another child has killed themselves because of bullying on Ask.fm.”
Lorraine feels let down by the authorities she says should have helped her protect her daughters.
“I just want someone to hold their hands up and say ‘we got it wrong'”.
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