The President has called for a greater effort to counter homophobic bullying.

Addressing a national forum for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth, Mary McAleese said no-one should suffer as a result of their sexual orientation.

She said the link between homophobic bullying and suicide sent a clear message that the trend must be reversed.

President McAleese said that in order to respect diversity among young people, society needed to stand up for democratic values and refuse to go along with loudly voiced prejudices.

She told delegates this would help overcome the bias and hostility experienced by many young gay people around the country.

Her address came at the end of a two-day forum at NUI Galway, organised by the BeLongG To group, which works with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) young people in Ireland.

The organisation's Director said the President's support sent a strong and positive message.

Michael Barron said the issues of bullying and isolation were real problems for many people across the country.