Statistics on Bullying in Irish Schools

Below is a summary of statistics from various named sources to give a feel for the full extent of the problem of bullying in Irish schools:

    • A nationwide survey of bullying in first and second level schools conducted by Trinity College Dublin estimates that some 31% of primary and 16% of secondary students have been bullied at some time. Of the total Irish school-going population, some 23% or 200,000 children are at risk of being victims of bullying. 74% of primary school children reported being bullied in the playground while 31% claimed that it occurred in the classroom. At secondary level, pupils reported 47% of incidents in the classroom, 37% in the corridors, and 27% in the playground. 19% of the former and 8.8% of the latter grouping said they were victimised going to or from school. Other areas of attack included the toilets, changing rooms, locker areas and dormitories in boarding schools. Source: Nationwide Study on Bullying Behaviour in Irish Schools (O’Moore 1997),  Anti Bullying CentreTrinity College Dublin.


    • Parents stated that: 40% had one or more children being bullied; 85% did not have a copy of their school policy; 80% had children who told them they were being bullied; 91% had children who were being bullied by a member of the same sex and 62% said it was being carried out by more than one person. At 30%, the highest percentage of those being bullied are 12-13 year olds, with 22% of parents reporting that they were first bullied between the ages of 8 and 9. 80% of parents believe the Gardaí should not be involved; 68% feel that schools should take stronger action; and 63% stated that victims should be given more advice. Source:



    • Long-range studies in Scandinavia show that approximately 60% of boys who were characterised as bullies in grades 6-9 had at least one conviction by the age of 24. Even more dramatically, as much as 30-40% of former bullies had three or more convictions by this age. Thus as young adults, former school bullies had a fourfold increase in the level of relatively series criminality as documented in official crime records. Source: Olweus, 1993 courtesy of Health Service Executive