‘NekNomination’ is an online drinking game which has been sweeping the nation since January 2014. Thought to have originated in Australia, it involves completing a drinking dare and then nominating someone else to do the same. The nominated person has just 24 hours to complete the dare. All dares are recorded and uploaded to the social media site, Facebook. Apparently it is ‘uncool’ NOT to accept the dare. And so it continues. ‘NekNomination’ is prominent among young Irish students and it is rife at the present time. Suzanne Costello of Alcohol Action Ireland said: “The online nature of the challenges mean the peer pressure aspect of it has far greater reach than traditional drinking games would have had. It’s picking up a momentum. There is a time pressure on it, you have to respond to the challenge within 24 hours. People are trying to give the image they are continuously partying, up for challenges and having a great time.”

Earlier this evening it was disclosed that a young Dublin man has died as a result of taking part in ‘NekNomination’. Alcohol Action Ireland said in a statement : “While some may see this as a game, the consequences of drinking large volumes of alcohol in a short period of time can have very real consequences for those taking part. “We would call on people to look after their health and wellbeing by not participating in this ‘game’ and to also protect their friends from the serious risks associated with it by not nominating them to take part in it.”

As a mother of a student in the present day, I’m horrified by what I’m watching on Facebook. I’m terrified that he or his friends will be next. It’s time to put a stop to this game. One young life has been lost. That’s one life too many. Surely it’s much more ‘cool’ to be ‘uncool’ than to be DEAD.

Students take heed. Don’t be responsible for the loss of another life. Knock ‘NekNomination’ on the head now. Do it for the memory of the young man who died today. Ensure this is NOT allowed to happen again. Stand up for life and say NO to ‘NekNomination’.