THE mother of bullied schoolgirl Erin Gallagher has made an emotional TV appeal for the closure of the site Ask.fm.
Lorraine Gallagher gave her first ever television interview to Channel Four this evening.
She wept as she told the station about the loss of Erin and her sister Shannon to suicide. The presenter of the programme warned viewers they would find the interview distressing.
“They were so close but they were so different,” said Lorraine of her two teenage girls.
“I asked myself questions. You just go around in a circle because with suicide you have no answers.”
Erin, who was 13, took her own life last October after being tormented on Ask.fm. Her 15-year-old sister ended her life six weeks later.
For the first time Lorraine revealed that Erin had mentioned being bullied on the Ask.fm site in her suicide note.
“When Erin died I ran for help,” said Lorraine.
“I knew she was dead. I ran next door to get help. It (the note)…she apologised. She said I’m sorry I have to do this but I’m fed up of the bullying, Ask.fm and she mentioned a name.
“Thousands and thousands of children are getting bullied every day on that site.
“I want Ask.fm shut down because I don’t want to turn on the TV again and see that another kid has killed herself because they have been bullied on Ask.fm.”
Ms Gallagher said Erin was also being bullied at school and the abuse on the site was the last straw.
“That’s what she wrote; to tell me that she killed herself for,” said Lorraine.
Lorraine also spoke emotionally about the suicide of Shannon last December.
She said Shannon missed her sister.
“Shannon was the oldest; she never lived a day of her life without Erin. Everybody thought that because Shannon was tomboyish and outspoken that Erin needed Shannon.
“That was wrong – it was Shannon who needed Erin.”
She said Shannon had also left a note, wrapped inside a Christmas present she had bought for her mum.
Said Lorraine: “Shannon just said ‘Hi mum, I just want you to know how much I love you’ and she said ‘negative things happen for positive reasons and I hope to see you again very soon’.”
Lorraine said she now had good days and bad days; sometimes she was ok and sometimes she just broke down.
“I want to get justice for Shannon and Erin,” she said.
“Even if they can’t shut down Ask.fm, they can bring in a wall for the people who are bullying so maybe then there wouldn’t be as much bullying on Ask.fm because they would be too scared to.”
The heartbroken mother said she was haunted by finding Erin dead in her home.
“Every time I walk through the front door I see Erin,” said Lorraine.
“It is one of the memories you will never forget.”