Dublin mum devastated that new cyberbullying bill will not be called 'Coco's Law'

Published date04 December 2020
Date04 December 2020
AuthorAakanksha Surve
Nicole Fox Fenlon took her own life in 2018 when she was 21 after years of vile abuse and online death threats.

Affectionately known by family and friends as Coco, Nicole endured the bullying campaign for three years.

Brave mum Jackie Fox mobilised an army of supporters since her death and pushed for new legislation with the support of Labour's Brendan Howlin TD against cyber-bullying which was called Coco's Law after Nicole.

The bill, which will ban cyberbullying, stalking, and sharing intimate images online without consent, passed through the committee stage in the Dail on Tuesday as it is expected to officially become the law before Christmas.

But Mx Fox revealed her devastation in an emotional video after learning that the bill won't be formally known as "Coco's Law" but the "Harassment, Harmful Communications, and Related Offences Bill" instead.

She said: "I've been to nearly every school, college, youth club, and community centre giving talks about Coco's Law. Why? Because that's what it was agreed to be called.

"But every kid, school, community centre, youth club that I talked to knows it as Coco's Law.

"Not only does every kid know it, but this was also Nicole's legacy from me to have it called [Coco's Law]."

She added: "Everyone knows the passion that I felt about - I wanted a law brought in which I've fought for tirelessly nonstop, till I physically dropped, mentally drained.

"This law is being brought in but it was with two conditions. That the law was brought in and named Coco's Law. And for someone to come along in the blink of an eye.

"This is what I've been campaigning for three years. Not for me, but for people who need Coco's Law but for Coco's legacy too."

Earlier this week, Mr Howlin called on the justice committee to officially name the new legislation Coco's Law in the memory of Nicole.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee TD said that the title of the bill could not be changed on the basis of the legal advice she had received.

However, Ms Fox said she learned that the name could not be changed because "there is no other law in Ireland named after a person".

She said in a poignant video: "This law being called Coco's Law is not going to harm the rest of the law that's coming in. It's not going to harm [Ms McEntee]. It's not going to affect her getting out of bed every morning.

"She's the only person that can do this. There's no one else opposing her.

"She's going to go on with her life and have a good Christmas and the rest of her life not...

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