NewsNorthern Ireland

Teen who took own life may have been 'blackmailed' by foreign crime gang

Ronan Hughes
Ronan Hughes

A Coalisland boy who took his own life last week may have been 'blackmailed' by a foreign crime gang.

Ronan Hughes, 17, died on Friday.

It is understood that he'd been tricked into posting photos of himself online.

Police are currently following the line of inquiry that a foreign gang was tormenting Ronan, saying that if he didn't pay them money the photos would go viral.

Yesterday, hundreds of mourners attended the Requiem Mass held for Ronan at St Patrick's Church in Clonoe.

His classmates from St Joseph's Grammar School, Donaghmore, and his teammates from Clonoe O'Rahilly's GAA club came to pay their respects.

The principal of St Joseph's, Geraldine Donnelly, said: "It appears that this is something different and even more sinister than online or cyber-bullying.

"What we're possibly looking at here is some international element of Ronan having been targeted from abroad purely and only to extort and blackmail him for money."

"There are sinister elements out there who would attempt to use it (the internet) for their own perverted and depraved purposes."