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Neknomination ‘neither smart nor cool’

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Neknomination ‘neither smart nor cool’


Ciara Moynihan

NEKNOMINATION, an online drinking game that has gained momentum in Ireland and around the world in recent weeks, could be fatal. That is the message from Fine Gael Mayo TD John O’Mahony TD, who has warned young people to think twice about the risks of binge drinking and social-media drinking games before taking part in them.
The aim of the Neknomination craze is to drink a pint of alcohol ‘in one go’ and then nominate someone else to do the same, giving them a window of 24 hours to do so. Those who take part make a video of themselves carrying out the challenge and then post it on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Often, participants attempt to carry out a physical feat straight after drinking the pint, in a bid to win notoriety.
On Saturday night last, the game claimed its first Irish victim: 19-year-old Jonny Byrne, who drowned after ‘necking’ a pint and jumping in the Barrow River in Carlow.
“It’s important that people understand how dangerous online ‘dares’ like the so-called Neknominations can be,” said Deputy O’Mahony. “Challenging your friends to drink large amounts of alcohol in a short time is neither smart nor cool. It is risky, potentially damaging to your health, and according to some reports, can even have fatal consequences.
“Young people should watch out for each other, and make sure that their friends don’t succumb to peer pressure and make short-term, spur-of-the-moment decisions that end up changing their lives for the worse. There’s nothing wrong with socialising and having a good time, but binge-drinking of any kind rarely has a good outcome for anyone.”
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte and Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald have also called for an end to the dangerous game.
Hours after trying to save his younger brother’s life, Jonny Byrne’s brother, Pat, issued a heartfelt appeal on Facebook: ‘My young 19-year-old brother, Jonny Byrne from Carlow died tonight in the middle of his nomination … If people have any decency and respect they will refrain from any more of this’.