20 May, 2014 - Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills give update on Action Plan on Bullying at launch of National Anti-Bullying Centre in DCU

Minister Quinn announces €50,000 start-up funding for Centre

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, T.D. and the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn, T.D., today jointly launched the National Anti-Bullying Centre (NABC) in DCU.

The NABC, which is attached to the School of Education Studies, will carry out research on the issue of bullying and how it can be successfully tackled in schools, on-line and in the workplace.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore announced the publication of a literature review on the prevalence and impact of bullying linked to social media on the mental health and suicidal behaviour among young people. This review was commissioned by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and the National Office for Suicide Prevention as part of the Action Plan on Bullying.

"Cyber-bullying is fast becoming a scourge of the modern age. While technology is a fantastic tool with great benefits - it has a downside which can follow children and young people out of the classroom and into their homes."

"The review published today, drawing together previous research on cyber-bullying, shows that cyber-bullying is generally less prevalent than traditional forms of bullying but those most at risk of being cyberbullied are the same young people who are involved in traditional bullying - either as victims or bullies," said the Tánaiste.

The review also outlines a number of strategies to prevent cyberbullying or intervene to stop it when it occurs. These include educating parents on the warning signs to look for that may signal their child is either a victim or a perpetrator of cyberbullying, creating positive caring atmospheres in schools and using the school curriculum to foster positive behaviour on social media.

At the event, Minister Quinn gave an update on the implementation of the Action Plan on Bullying which was launched last year.
"The Action Plan on Bullying outlined 12 steps to tackle the problem of bullying in all its formats. Of these, ten actions are complete or underway including the research published today on cyber-bullying, supporting the Stand Up campaign against homophobic bullying and asking pupils and parents through surveys in schools about how their school handles the problem of bullying."

He also announced that the Centre will receive €50,000 in start-up funding from DES to assist in its work.

"The National Anti-Bullying Centre assisted in drafting the Action Plan and has a clear role to play in research, assisting and supporting victims of bullying and working with schools to create safe school environments. I am delighted that the Department will be supporting this work with further funding," said Minister Quinn.

School children from St. Dominic's Secondary School in Ballyfermot and Ó Fiach College, Dundalk also attended the event in DCU.
Both Ministers paid tribute to the founder of the Centre, Professor Mona O'Moore and its current Director, Dr. James O'Higgins Norman.


The report on the prevalence and impact of bullying linked to social media on the mental health and suicidal behavious among young people is available for download here:

The Prevalence and Impact of Bullying linked to Social Media on the Mental Health and Suicidal Behaviour Among Young People

and also on the National Office for Suicide Prevention website www.nosp.ie