WHEN 18-YEAR-OLD Cork girl Leanne Wolfe took her life this time four years ago, her family were devastated. Their hearts broke all over again when they discovered details in her diaries which showed she had been bullied for years.
Leanne’s older sister Triona has spoken out about her sister’s death as part of a TV3 campaign, Stamp Out Bullying. She said that when she read her sister’s diaries after her death in 2007:
I said to my Mom that they as good as killed her.
The tragedy of Leanne’s death was widely reported and sparked huge debate about how the issue of bullying was treated in Irish schools at the time. An RTE Radio 1 documentary, The Diary of Leanne Wolfe, featured heartbreaking extracts from her diaries over a six-year period up to her death.
In a new interview with Ireland AM’s Sinead Desmond, to be broadcast on TV3 at 8.10am on Monday next, Triona Wolfe said:
When I found her diaries, it did make sense. The hair on your hands would stand up if you read the way she felt, the way she was tormented. Your heart would break all over again.
Triona says that it is difficult to move on because no-one can be prosecuted for Leanne’s death, even though she feels her sister had been pushed to take her own life.
We were told they couldn’t do anything because Leanne did it herself but they certainly nearly pushed her over the edge, they made her feel like she was worthless and nothing and that her life wasn’t worth living. But she was my sister and their (my parents’) baby.
The night she died the gardai handed me her phone and there was a text message that called her a prostitute. It said they were coming to pound her face in… I said to my brother, if that’s the likes of what Leanne was dealing with, she didn’t have a chance.
The Ireland AM interview also hears Triona call on anyone who witnesses bullying to not be afraid to intervene or report it. She also said that schools need more support to put a stop to bullying.
I’ve spoken to so many people who have hit a brick wall with their schools. There’s a lot that goes on that teachers aren’t equipped to deal with… they’re not taught how to deal with children in different life circumstances.
Watch Ireland AM on TV3, 8.10am for the full interview.