Concerns over the latest internet craze “Neknominate” have been proven correct this week as a second young man loses his life in relation to the drinking game. Dublin DJ Ross Cummins was found unconscious in a house in Dublin city centre in the early hours of Monday morning, Ross was taken to hospital and pronounced dead shortly afterwards. Now police are investigating the death of Jonny Byrne whose body was recovered for the River Barrow in Co Carlow earlier this morning, they suspect Jonny’s death was also in relation to the Neknomination craze. Jonny’s brother Patrick is appealing for people to stop taking part in Neknominate before any more people are injured or killed as a result of the ‘game’.
The Neknominate trend (originally known as “Neck and Nominate”) started in the UK in early January 2014 and has spread across the world, and had a strong impact in Australia and New Zealand where it reached high popularity and it’s echo reignited the impact of the neknominate trend in the UK and Ireland. The aim is to record a video of yourself “necking” a drink and then nominating others (usually 2 friends) to do the same. In an attempt to compete with previous videos, new nominees are drinking more and stronger drinks in more and more dangerous locations. Videos have been posted of young men and women drinking beer from toilet bowls, drinking their own urine and downing drinks in freezing conditions with very little protection from the elements.
While some people are using this craze to try and make a difference, these are in the minority. One video has been posted of a young man in South Africa using his nomination to donate food to people in need instead of drinking alcohol for the entertainment, and encouraging and nominating others to do the same. There are also images posted of people using this as a nomination to donate blood at blood drives and to blood banks and again encouraging and nominating others to do the same thing. Unfortunately people trying to turn this trend into a positive are few and far between compared to the number putting themselves at risk and encouraging drinking to dangerous extents. Celebrities including New Zealand All Black star Steven Luatua has also taken part, although the sports star later apologised, the original video has been widely viewed and inspired many to take part.
The neknominate craze has reached large volumes of people with the largest facebook page having over 33,000 likes and nearly 50,000 likes spread across other neknominate facebook pages. The popularity is also seen in the number of twitter posts including #neknominate and requests to be nominated, and at time of writing nearly 6,500 neknominate videos on youtube.
Many alcohol action groups across Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland have condemned the craze as dangerous and are encouraging individuals to not become involved and not give in to the peer pressure to create a video if they are nominated. Neknominate has already led to a spin off craze Skidnominate, where people are encouraged to record themselves skidding a car and then nominate 2 others to do the same and post the link to their facebook page (which already has nearly 12,000 likes).
Wash My Pink Jumper is a registered charity helping young women trapped in binge drinking. We do this through mentors, known as “Big Sisters”, who provide support and encouragement for young women who have decided living is more important than drinking.