'Neknomination' online drinking game: Second death in Ireland linked to 'neck nomination'
A second death in the Republic has been linked to the online drinking game 'Neknomination' - with social media users in Northern Ireland also getting involved in the growing trend.
Police in the Republic are investigating whether Jonny Byrne (19) from Leighlinbridge was playing the game before plunging into the river near Milford Bridge, Co Carlow.
‘Neknomination’ has also been linked to the death of Dublin DJ Ross Cummins (22) whose body was found by shocked housemates on Saturday morning.
The game is a social media craze that involves people being nominated to down alcoholic drinks and posting a video online.
They then nominate another person via the internet to do the same thing. It has spread from Australia and can involve people on different sides of the globe interacting with each other.
Facebook users from Northern Ireland have also been playing the game - with dozens of video 'dares' appearing across the site in the last few days.
Jonny’s brother Patrick put up a message on his Facebook page saying ‘Stop Neknomination Before It’s Too Late’
One friend posted on Facebook: “Everyone involved in gaa circles were shocked and in despair when news broke of the passing of our friend Jonny Byrne, Leighlinbridge at just 19 years of age. Last night, the Carlow U21 hurlers that beat Dublin last year were collecting an award at the Beat 102-103 sports awards but this couldn't be celebrated as they were missing one vital member, Jonny.
“Jonny was a member of the Naomh Bríd Hurling Club, Leighlinbridge GFC and Michael Davitts Juvenile Football Club. He hurled with Carlow from U13 to U21 and of course was there on that famous night in Parnell Park. He was a warrior on the pitch, a rock in defence and gave 100pc on the pitch every time. A kind soul well liked throughout Carlow especially in hurling, he was a great hurler and footballer, a gentleman and an even greater friend and we are heartbroken.
“We would like to send our deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.”
Alcohol Action has warned about the online craze, saying: “drinking large volumes of alcohol in a short period of time can have very real consequences”.
Jonny’s death happened hours after Dubliner Ross Cummins lost his life after apparently downing a whiskey drink in a ‘NekNomination’ challenge.
It is understood the young man drank the pint at a party in Dublin on Friday night before going to bed, but was found dead the next morning.
Gardai from Pearse Street are investigating the tragedy.