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'NekNomination' online drinking craze blamed for death of Irish teen

'NekNomination' online drinking craze blamed for death of Irish teen
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The family of Irish teenager Jonny Byrne has blamed the online drinking game NekNomination for his death.

Byrne, 19, died at the weekend after jumping into the River Barrow in County Carlow.

His family said he had been playing NekNomination – in which people drink, or “neck”, alcohol before posting a video online and nominating someone else to do the same.

The teenager’s brother Patrick Byrne – who jumped into the river to try to save Jonny’s life – issued a plea on Facebook for people to steer clear of the drinking game.

Patrick said in a post that his brother: “thought he had to try and beat the competition. After he necked his pint, he jumped in the river.”

He added: “If people have any decency and respect, they will refrain from any more of this”.

The Northern Ireland NekNomination Facebook page received thousands of “likes” within days of being launched last week. The organisers have reportedly said that the page will be changed into an alcohol awareness forum.

NekNomination has also been linked to the death of Dublin DJ Ross Cummins, 22, whose body was found by his housemates on Saturday morning.

The cause of Cummins’ death has not been confirmed – but he had reportedly been taking part in a drinking challenge.