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'Coco's Law' Mum of Nicole 'Coco' Fox Fenlon praised as online abuse bill signed into law

Dubliner Nicole, whose nickname was 'Coco', was just 21 when she took her own life after suffering prolonged cyberbullying, in January 2018.

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Jackie Fox holds a photo of her daughter Nicole

Jackie Fox holds a photo of her daughter Nicole

Jackie Fox holds a photo of her daughter Nicole

The mother of Nicole Fox Fenlon, Jackie Fox, has been praised online after a new bill that makes online abuse a criminal offence was passed. 

Dubliner Nicole, whose nickname was 'Coco', was just 21 when she took her own life after suffering prolonged cyberbullying, in January 2018.

Since her daughter's tragic death, brave Jackie has campaigned for stricter punishment for those who engage in online bullying.

Today, the Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017 was formally signed into law following months of debate.

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Jackie Fox Fenlon, whose daughter Nicole Fox Fenlon, was a victim of bullying

Jackie Fox Fenlon, whose daughter Nicole Fox Fenlon, was a victim of bullying

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Jackie Fox Fenlon, whose daughter Nicole Fox Fenlon, was a victim of bullying

It outlaws a wide range of offences including online abuse, cyberbullying, and image-based abuse.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee said it was not possible to legally change the title of the bill to ‘Coco’s Law’ in memory of Nicole Fox Fenlon, but that the legislation her mother successfully campaigned for will always be known as such.

Under the new bill, if there is ‘intent to cause harm’, the offence carries an unlimited fine or a prison sentence of up to seven years.

If there is no intent to cause harm, the same offence will be punishable by a maximum penalty of €5,000 or 12 months’ imprisonment.

In a statement, President Michael D Higgins confirmed that the bill was now law.

It read: "Having considered the Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017, President Higgins has today signed the Bill and it has accordingly become law."

People reacted positively to the news online with one person writing: "This is one of the only good things to happen this year! With laws like this in place it makes everyone feel much safer in Ireland. Well done @JackieFox21."

Another added: "This is welcome news. Well done to @BrendanHowlin and @JackieFox21on their tireless work," added another.

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