Not only is he drop dead gorgeous – in a world class movie star way – Colin Farrell is also an all round fantastic guy. He’s a staunch supporter of the Special Olympics and he has spoken out about bullying on many occasions. Unfortunately he has first hand knowlege of homophobic bullying – his brother Eamon was relentlessly bullied during his school years, so Farrell knows only too well the pain and suffering that it causes.
And it’s not just Colin who has spoken out recently. Saoirse Ronan, Jedward, Laura Whitmore, Louis Walsh and Mark Feehily have all taken part in a high profile anti bullying campaign for the ISPCC last year. I knew Patricia, who runs the wonderful Sticks and Stones Anti Bullying Workshops would be delighted with the further awareness raised by the launching of another campaign recently – here are her thoughts.
It was a great week for anti-bullying advocates speaking out loud and proud against bullying.
English rugby hero Ben Cohen hit Dublin recently to launch the BeLonGTo’s Stand Up Campaign (check out their brilliant interactive video here) Ben founded his own anti-bullying foundation following the violent death of his father, who was killed when he tried to aid a stranger being attacked. At the launch in City Hall he spoke about his strong “family values” underpinning his choice in life to support those who need help. He plans to use his voice and pulling power (behave!), to attract sponsors and other sportsmen and women to engage with the issue of bullying and help to put an end to the misery it inflicts.
Our own Colin Farrell, who has spoken out strongly in the past on bullying (watch the Ellen clip above), issued a statement to coincide with the launch
“If there was one great wish I have for my country – for a land that I love and a people I so revere, it would be that school bullying were a thing of our past,” says Colin, who witnessed first hand his gay brother Eamon being violently bullied in school.
“Each individual, as a member of his and her community, must stand up in the face of this appalling brutality that plagues our schools. In effect, bullying is no less than the systematic doling out of pain upon the innocent. It is literally laughing in the face of somebody as they fall into increasingly grave danger.
Whether it be the attacking of gay students, which I witnessed first hand happening to my own brother, or students who are in the minority as a result of race or religious beliefs or any other such characteristic that separates them from ‘the norm’, it is all wrong and has no place in a just and compassionate country such as I know Ireland to be. We have always been praised as being the friendliest and most welcoming race in the world. My wish is for us to prove it daily, in the school yards and playgrounds across this Great Land of Ours.”
Public figures have so much influence with children and young people it would be great to see even more come out in support of anti-bullying initiatives, and create a real change in the lives of so many. Well done Ben and Colin!
Thank you very much Patricia. And you know what I think too? The more we all talk about it the more we drive this horrible problem out of the dark corners and alleys where it lurks and thrives.
So lets talk! What have your experiences been?