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Seán Kelly MEP to host Cyber-Bullying Forum in Ennis

Published: Wed, 30 October 2013

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Ireland South MEP Sean Kelly will host a Cyber-Bullying Forum in Ennis, Co Clare on November 8th, in order to raise awareness and inspire action to prevent online bullying.

“Cyber-bullying, or Bullying by social media, is a problem of epidemic proportions affecting mostly young people. It is a very serious challenge for parents, teachers, mental health and youth/community workers. It has fuelled a national and Europe-wide debate on how to best to tackle the issue,” Sean Kelly said today, in announcing the event to be held in Ennis.

“In very real and shocking terms, over 1,700 young Europeans are at risk of death by suicide this year due to bullying and cyber-bullying according to research by a leading charity, Beat Bullying UK. Unfortunately, many tragic deaths of young people have already been linked to cyber-bullying in Ireland already.”

The Fine Gael MEP, and former school teacher, says educating people of all ages on the subject is vital. The Ennis Forum will be the third of its kind hosted by Mr Kelly who also organised a Cyber-Bullying Forum in Cork (January 2013) and Limerick (September 2012).

Mr Kelly is campaigning for the introduction of an EU and national level anti-bullying campaign involving key stakeholders in education, government and commercial and youth sectors in order to eradicate bullying once and for all.

“I am glad to say there is cross-party and multi-stakeholder agreement in Europe that we, as a society, need to do all we can to eradicate bullying. We need to change the behaviour, the attitude and the belief systems that allow bullying to persist in our schools, in our communities and in workplaces in some cases.

“We cannot allow any more young people to be tortured and negatively impacted in this way anymore and we certainly do not want any more lives lost tragically because of it. Schools should be supported in rolling out anti-bullying programmes.

“I am also strongly advocating for the establishment of an EU Anti-Bullying Day to raise awareness of the issue,” Mr Kelly added. 

Please see my recent Cyber-Bullying Newsletter here.


Event Details

The Cyber-Bullying Forum, organised and hosted by Sean Kelly MEP, takes place in Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis, Co Clare on Friday, 8th November 09:30 – 12:00.  

The forum is targeted at parents, school principals/teachers, youth groups, and community liaisons in particular, and all those interested in this issue.




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09:30   Registration


09:45   Opening: Overview of Cyber-bullying at EU level & EU Data Protection Reform, Seán Kelly MEP


10:00   Empowering Ireland to deal with Cyber-Bullying and Bullying, Pat Forde, Founder,

10:20   Encouraging Personal Development in Young Adults and Positive Social Networking, Diarmuid Hudner, Author & Founder,


10:40   Break: Tea & Coffee


10:50   Cyberbullying; the experience in post primary schools, Dr. Patricia Mannix McNamara & Sharon Moynihan, Department of Education, University of Limerick

11:20   Post – What are the main on-line bullying and safety concerns for Irish schoolchildren? Jim Harding, Founder & Director,


11:40   Questions and Answers Session


12:00   Conclusion, Seán Kelly MEP


Speaker Profiles


Pat Forde

Pat Forde has been working with children for over 13 years. Pat is a graduate of the University of Limerick and is one of Ireland’s leading martial arts instructors.  Pat trained with the UK anti-bullying charity Kidscape.

Pat has worked with schools all over the country implementing his anti-bullying programme with students, staff and parents. He also featured on the RTE Television series Bullyproof with David Coleman and is a regular contributor to national media debates on the subject. Pat has also been featured in a large number of radio debates and newspaper articles on bullying and his own recent articles have been featured on the and online by the ISPCC.


Diarmuid Hudner

Diarmuid Hudner is the author of the fiction novel “Im Happy Now.Com” and the founder of the website  The novel, which is currently being used in the United States as part of their anti-bullying program, tells the story of three teenagers who are the victims of bullying and how they come together through a website to change their lives. It deals with the highly sensitive topics of bullying, substance abuse, suicide and self-harming. 

Hudner is a former Headhunter in the City of London and was a regular contributor to financial magazines such as the Financial Times, Investment Week and Money Marketing. He is the founder and Chairman of the Doneraile Literary & Arts Festival and is a native of County Limerick.


Sharon Moynihan

Sharon Moynihan is an advanced scholar at the University of Limerick; she is also an Irish Research Council Scholar.  Sharon is currently researching a PhD that is focused on health promoting schools. She has a particular research interest in bullying and in teacher education for healthy schools.  She has collaborated with her colleague Patricia Mannix McNamara on several international publications in this field.  

Among her publications is:

Mannix McNamara, P. and Moynihan, S. (2011) Teachers’ experiences, perceptions of and skills in addressing cyber bullying in Irish schools, Bullying and the Abuse of Power, ID Press: e-book


Dr. Patricia Mannix McNamara

Dr. Patricia Mannix McNamara is a Senior Lecturer in Education in the University of Limerick. Prior to this she was a post primary teacher of English, Religion and SPHE.  Her research is focused on bullying (workplace and school based). Her research is also specific to student health and well being and social and personal health education. Patricia is internationally renowned for her work in this field.  


Jim Harding

Jim founded Bully 4U in 2010. It is used as an online resource to help tackle bullying behaviour and is currently accessed on a daily basis in more than 65 countries. Bully 4u have acquired an excellent reputation for their student workshops, parent/guardian information seminars and teacher in-service in Irish primary and secondary level schools. Bully 4u also provide workshops and training seminars in the areas of Residential Care, Foster Care, Adolescent Psychiatric Services, Community Training Centres, the National Learning Network and youth services.  


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