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Action for Suicide Prevention Dublin

March 1

With the very little summer we are having some of us take advantage of the sun when are given the limited opportunity. Last June Bank Holiday, the Saturday to be exact, I took the Luas into the city and joined the hundreds of people talking the full advantage of the sun. Some folk were heading for city’s Eastern quays to see the tall ships, some were getting off to go to the Bloom Festival here on in the Phoenix Park in Dublin. I was heading up to Parnell Street to the Garden of Remembrance. My intention was to cover the march against cuts in services such as counselling that help prevent suicide. The march was set to begin from the Garden.  The protestors I spoke to, maintain that the government have made unnecessarily, deep cuts in their budget regarding mental health support services, which is having a knock on affect to people who need this service.

I arrived at the Garden of Remembrance with about 30 minutes, to spare I decided take shelter from the heavy rays of sun. I made myself comfortable in the shade just in beside the main gate. The park was lovely and well maintained at the very end of the park there is a lovely sculpture, it starts from the ground up as figures of children then it finishes with swans, the wonderful legend of the Children of Lir.  I sat there, lost in my own world thinking who ever came up with this concept that it was lovely, but it did also bring me sadness. You see the children of that beautiful sculpture and the story, which inspired it, reminded me of the children who today seem to be ending their lives earlier and earlier. I imagined, perhaps hoped them as beautiful swans perhaps flying towards some warm sun away from their pains.

My hopeful dream vanished as I was becoming increasingly surrounded by the parents of these children.  Their anguish was visible.  A large crowd had gathered at the gate. All wearing green ribbons, representing the loss of someone through this terrible way. The march started at 2.15pm, it was organised by two young people, Jamie Harrington, and Luke Clerkin (Action for Suicide Prevention Dublin) who both were affected by suicide.   The march was well organised with a Garda escort who were in front of the parade and at the back diverting the traffic.

 As the march made its way down O’Connell Street, organiser Jamie Harrington, who had a microphone and a speaker, was speaking to all who would listen about the cuts the government has made to suicide prevention services.  As the march made its way onto O’Connell Street Bridge, Mr Harrington asked the protestors to sit down on the bridge and hold up their banners.  They obliged, you could of heard a pin drop it was that quite, the traffic behind the parade were so quiet not one car beeped their horn in anger of being delayed.  All who had a banner held up held their own messages, some of them read out the names of people who sadly took their own lives.

The parade finished outside Governments Buildings, were the crowd stood outside the gates. Their message was clear to stop cutting funding for services and help lines.  This paper does not hold a political line, but it is important to note that Ireland is the 4th highest suicide rate among young people in the EU.   It would also be wrong to say that organisations, who work in this area, do not need more money so they can reach out to the people who come to them. This is an issue that sadly affects us all, though it is also true that the government is placed in an awkward position regarding having to make cuts in the first place.

If you have ever felt the desire to end your own life please use the numbers below and seek help.  You are not alone.


Pieta House Centres

Ballyfermot                 01-6200020

Cork                            0121-4341400

Finglas                         01-864-8899

Kerry                           066-7163-660

Lucan                          601-0000

Roscrea                       0505-22568

Tallaght                       087-9368-633

Galway                        093-25586

11811 will also give you specific numbers to specific centres

March 2

3 Responses

  1. Tony Gorman says:

    It’s so sad to think that in a lot of cases of people committing suicide the signs are not recognised until after the person has taken their own life.
    Inquiries then take place but all too late and someone always say’s I could see this was going to happen because of how the person was acting.
    But why don’t people act on the changes in another person’s personality and try to help them instead of looking on and talking about them to others.
    A little chat with someone who is depressed or is uptight with life in general could make all the difference.
    So remember a trouble shared could be a life spared.

    A Trouble Shared is a Life Spared

    Take serious the threat to life
    That comes to some when minds are strained
    And tread carefully with each step you take
    To ensure that all bad thoughts are drained

    For life is meant to be lived in full
    And everyone has the right to live
    And when dark days comes to those we know
    Let true feelings show in the help we give

    Revive their lust for life and lead them on their way
    And shine a sun within their heart in blue skies not in grey
    Bring back that glimmer of hope just like a radiant ray
    To bring them peace of mind to live, as they go from day to day

  2. John Quillinan says:

    I attended the march yesterday. I’m 59(and a half) years old. A close friend shared the Facebook link with me, where Jamie made the call to march. She asked me if I would attend the march on her behalf, as she had to work, and remember her sister, who took her own life 14 years ago. I said that I would be happy to attend but not just on behalf of her sister. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 25 years ago. It had been hanging around me for a lot longer than that. I am a single father, raising my daughter, with help, since she was 4 years old. Making sure that she had what she needed gave me a purpose in life and I fought the illness fiercely. After 15 years of psychology(lots of drugs), psychotherapy (long silences and more drugs), group therapy etc, there was no significant change in the frequency of my mood swings. In fact, they were getting longer and deeper with very few(thankfully) manic phases. I had tried the full range of anti-depressants without any success. Just a lot of horrible side-effects so I decided to stop. I take only very few mild tranquillisers now. I have learned many good techniques to keep me going but when the blues come calling, sometimes it seems like there ain’t no bottom and there ain’t no end (thanks Emmy). Had I not been working for a very caring company I would definitely have lost my job. I was sometimes absent with deep depression for periods up to 6 months! in 2005 the company had to make a number of people redundant and it was not sustainable to keep me on while letting people go who had exemplary attendance records. I signed-on at first but quickly realised that I couldn’t offer myself for a 9 to 5 or any kind of regular work, so I went on Doctor’s Certs, finally being granted (very reluctantly) Invalidity Pension last year. My daughter is now 28 and married with 2 baby girls. Despite my immense joy and love for my family I found that, without work and responsibility for my daughter, I no longer had any real purpose in life. I had to give up my 2 bed rented apartment, where my daughter finished school and college, in 2011 because the Community Health Officer deemed it be to big for one person, so I couldn’t get Rent Allowance. I have since been unable to find affordable accommodation for a single person anywhere. I stayed with my daughter until her first baby was due. I’ve depended on the kindness of 2 very close friends, who have separately put me up for the last 2 years. I have felt completely lost without my own space (to hide in when I’m down) and have tested the patience of my good friends to the limit. Therefore about 9 months ago I decided that I had no reason to live. While I know that my family would be devastated, I also reasoned that they’d get over it and that they would realise that I really had become just a burden. I began to actively plan my own death. Thankfully, due to a chance encounter with an old friend, I began to play guitar and sing again. I met a lovely therapist who listens to me very carefully and charges me nothing. My daughter had her second child 2 months ago. There are problems and I am needed very regularly and I love doing it. Now the only thing that bothers me is finding a place to live and that doesn’t seem like the impossible mountain it was anymore. So I chose life and it’s as if I’ve turned on my light and people I thought had completely forgotten me in my reclusiveness, are seeing it. When I saw Jamie’s video I decided that I was going to the march on my own behalf firstly, as well as carrying the memory of others close to my heart. It was truly inspiring to see a whole new generation of people making themselves heard and reaching out with love and compassion. Genuinely choosing life and reinforcing my commitment to do the same. Well done!

    ps I really laughed when a guy beside started chanting, “What do we want? More heads!”

  3. Alan Finn says:

    Hello John greatly many thanks for your honest note, and I am sure there are more cases like yourself and I hope with hope that these people may read your note, and change their minds if they too have picked a date, or get help if they feel down. Last Saturday 5th July I had plans to attend my 2nd March with Jamie, etc when something came up out of my control and I couldn’t put it off. The last March I did was lovely, and like you I marched for people I lost and strangers who I will never get to meet. The Government should tackle this issue and leave the funds alone for services that provide people with help and information. This year they are going on now about the Free Travel that some of us have saying it cost the Government €77.00 Million a year to run, its quite cheap, it helps to keep Jobs on the buses and on the trains, and it get people to go and attend hospital etc should they require it. Last year the Irish Government spent over €90.Million on the so called Irish water company setting it up and to provide Meter to peoples homes look at the way that’s gone, what did the Government do, they allowed that to go on and on.They should of just kept the money, banked it they would of got an Interest, then they could of used the interest alone to fund Mental Health Centers, and Suicide Awareness call centers. It makes me very annoyed to see the Government cut these Vital services, and most help centers dealing with this very tragic subject are all put together by local people who have lost people to suicide not the government so they should be really grateful such services provide what the government should be doing not flushing away €90. plus million, out of our pockets personally I would like to see my taxes go towards such centers example Pieta House, Console, etc Also was there any other Media on last Saturdays March, we at the Fountain ran a story didn’t see any National news companies coming in and airing what is killing us as a services. Thank You John and I hope the next one we will meet up!!!!!!!!!Alan Finn. The above text is mine as an Individual opinion and it does not represent the Fountain Resource Group, review on this matter

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