Neknomination girl who swallowed goldfish receives death threats - Facebook axes site
A young woman has received death threats after swallowing a goldfish as part of a deadly online drinking craze.
A video of Rachel Carey putting the animal into an alcoholic drink and then swallowing it went viral on the internet.
The Newry woman – believed to be a trainee solicitor –performed the stunt as part of the current 'neknomination' craze which has been blamed for the deaths of two young people in the Republic.
A Northern Ireland-based Facebook site set up to capture the exploits of those taking part in the game was yesterday taken down following the tragedies.
It is understood Ms Carey (23) is currently travelling in Australia where the 'dare' was filmed.
Within hours of the four-minute video being posted she was inundated with abusive messages from outraged animal lovers and also claimed to have received death threats.
The clip shows her mixing a drink before producing a goldfish which she then puts into the tumbler.
Ms Carey is then shown consuming it, making a gesture to the camera afterwards.
She then points to what appears to be a tattoo on her leg which reads 'neknomination'.
Ms Carey later posted a message on Facebook boasting of having performed the stunt.
However within hours, further posts appeared on her page in which she apologised, but tried to justify her behaviour.
"Right, clearly my neknomination got out of hand," she wrote.
"I would like to sincerely apologise to anyone offended by my actions or language.
"I'm young, I was drunk. Not my finest hour."
She added that fish are "eaten alive and raw all the time" and that contestants on ITV show I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here eat fish.
Following more abuse she then posted: "It was stupid I get it but all those who (are) bullying, sending death threats and everything else, I get it. Feeling depressed."
She changed the name on her Facebook account following the backlash and the video was removed.
A PSNI spokesman yesterday said: "Police received reports on Sunday, February 2, of posts on social media."
However, local police are not pursuing the matter as it happened abroad.
Meanwhile, a second death in the Republic has been linked to the online drinking game – and it's believed social media users in Northern Ireland are also getting involved in the growing trend.
Police 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.
Chair of the Independent Panel on the Responsible Retailing and Promotion of Alcohol, Duncan McCausland, said: "It is imperative that we take a zero-tolerance approach to harmful drinking practices.
"The abuse of alcohol in this way poses a great danger, particularly to younger generations who are susceptible to peer pressure."
DUP MP David Simpson said the neknomination game showed the "kind of peer pressure which is placed upon many people online".
SDLP MLA Joe Byrne appealed for young people not to take part in the game.
"This is not a game. It is destroying lives. I would call on people to take these concerns seriously and look after their health and well-being by not participating in this 'game', and to protect their friends from the serious risks associated with it by not nominating them to take part."