Tag Archives: suicide

From top: Graiguecullen Bridge, Carlow; Letter in The Carlow Nationalist praising local Gardai Rachel Boyd, Sean Dunne, Sean Raftery and ‘Custody Sgt Kelly’

Antoinette writes:

To the person who wrote this letter, I hope you are doing OK and thank you for the brave letter outlining how members of An Garda Síochána helped you last weekend. These incidents are difficult for everyone involved…

The Carlow Nationalist

Top pic via MyCarlow

This afternoon.

Former footballer Gary Dempsey makes a plea for improved mental health services and for people to reach out to those who they feel may be in trouble amid reports of depression and suicides during lockdown.

Founder of Claddagh Watch Arthur Carr, centre, with Claddagh Watch volunteers

This morning.

On RTÉ’s Today with Seán O’Rourke.

Arthur Carr, founder of Claddagh Watch, spoke to Mr O’Rourke.

Claddagh Watch is a group of volunteers who carry out night-time patrols on the bridges and waterways of Galway city with the intention of preventing accidents and deaths.

During their discussion, Mr Carr said that he and his colleagues found a suicidal young man by the River Corrib twice in one hour last Friday night.

The man had been tended to by gardai after the first incident.

Mr Carr explained that he and his colleagues went out to patrol the river at around 10.30pm on Friday night.

He said one of the members of Claddagh Watch had been approached by a relative of the man and told that the man had intended to take his life by entering the River Corrib, and that he had left a suicide note.

Not long after being told this information, Mr Carr said they found the man sitting on a 12-foot wall by the river and that he was in a “distressed and bad state”.

Mr Carr said the man attempted to jump into the river but the Claddagh Watch volunteers “manhandled him back to safety” and called 999.

Members of An Garda Síochána then took the man to be assessed, Mr Carr said.

However, Mr Carr couldn’t say who assessed him.

Within an hour, Mr Carr and his colleagues were tending to the man again by the River Corrib.

He explained:

It is like a revolving door, really and truly. But her arrived back on the bridge, to our volunteers and again we had to engage with this person and we had to try and calm him down and we got him to a safe place.

“We got him actually into a hotel which is adjacent to the bridge, Jury’s Hotel there in Claddagh, and he still was not in any state to engage with a family member at the time and it took a bit of talking an persuasion for him to realise that what we were trying to get him to dosas far more beneficial than what he was trying to achieve for himself, which was to take his own life.

“And, eventually, we did make headway and he did engage with a family member and as far as we are aware, she brought him down to the psychiatric unit where he said he would be prepared to go in and get some help for himself.

“He then realised that he does need psychiatric help.

“Now, after that, we don’t know because for our own safety, we don’t get involved with people once we hand them over, we walk away. And we don’t engage with the person anymore unless they want to engage with us.”

Mr Carr added:

“When they’re brought away, they’re being assessed but they’re being put back out onto the street, more or less immediately after, because there is nowhere for them.”

Asked if it’s happened before where Claddagh Watch would encounter the same person twice in one night, Mr Carr said:

It is fairly regular I have to say.”

“….when you have someone that has been taken down [from a bridge], if they have alcohol on them, the psychiatric services don’t want to know, if they have drugs on them, they psychiatric services don’t want to know.

“But, when you look at it, there’s probably 80 per cent of the people that present to us on the bridges, or on the waterways, have either drugs or alcohol or even both. And they are wiping their hands of them. They don’t want to know. 

“There is no care for them and it’s people, like us, that are directing them from entering the water and when we do that, the frustration is that it’s a high percentage that they’re going to be back and we’re going to have to deal with it again.

“And the whole cycle starts again. There is nowhere for them.”

“…like if somebody wants to jump 15 feet into a water that is running that quickly [17.5kph], they are not in a good place and the least they deserve is a chance to get back on their own two feet and they’re not going to do that by being put back out onto the street in their own care within an hour.”


Tonight, the NUIG Psychological Society is hosting a table quiz in aid of Claddagh Watch from 7.30pm at Massimo bar in Galway.

Claddagh Watch

Samaritans: 116 123

Pieta House: 01 6010 000

Aware: 1890 303 302

Previously: Watching Out

An Avoidable Death


Micheál Ó’Ciaraidh, of TG4, writez:

“Tá súil agam go bhfuil sibh go maith. We have just today put a video live featuring a night spent with the absolutely amazing CladdaghWatch volunteers.

“We thought you [and your readers] might be interested in seeing it and feel free to share on your own social media if you wish. Bíodh Nollaig iontach agaibh ar fád.”


Samaritans: 116 123

Pieta House: 01 6010 000

Aware: 1890 303 302

This afternoon.

Members and supporters of the Mental Health Warriors demonstrated outside the gates of Leinster House.

The group, which is calling for 24/7 mental health services and more funding for mental health services, included Fiona Twomey (red coat) whose 11-year-old daughter Milly from Templeogue, Dublin, took her life in 2016.

Kathy Maguire (third picture), from Newbridge, Co Kildare, also took part in the protest.

Kathy’s daughter Maxine, aged 25, died by suicide in February 2017.


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar; Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald

Earlier today, during Leaders’ Questions, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that the protest would be taking place today.

She also recalled the death, by suicide of Grainne Gault’s daughter Elisha on St Patrick’s Day last year, and told him Grainne would be taking part in the protest.

Ms McDonald told Mr Varadkar that, over the past two years, 744 people in Ireland died by suicide.

She added:

“The Government’s failure is most evident in the child and adolescent mental health service, CAMHS, which is on its knees.

“It is crumbling while families and communities cry out for help, which the Government is not providing. Staffing shortages have led to CAMHS beds lying empty and children waiting months for mental healthcare.

“In August, 2,440 children were waiting for mental health services. Half of those children were waiting at least 12 weeks to be seen, while 748 were waiting six months. That is far too long to wait when a young person’s health, and possibly life, hangs in the balance.”

In his response, Mr Varadkar told Ms McDonald:

“Since 2012, the budget for mental health services has increased by 44%.

“I doubt one could find such a large increase in mental health funding in any seven-year period in Irish history.

An additional €40 million for mental health was announced in the budget last week, which brings the mental health budget to over €1billion for the first time.”

He added:

“The Deputy will be aware that the rate of suicide in Ireland has fallen by about 30% in recent years.

“Of course, any suicide is one too many, but we all welcome the fact that suicide rates in Ireland are dropping. It also reminds us that there is more to do.

“The Minister of State, Deputy Jim Daly, who has responsibility for mental health, informed me last week that the CAMHS waiting list is down 25% and still falling.

“That is a very positive development, on which we need to build. We have also invested in improving psychological services in primary care, by hiring an additional 114 assistant psychologists, for example.”

The Taoiseach added that, last week, a 24-hour mental health helpline was established for the first time.

He said:

“People often do not know how to access the 1,000 or so different mental health services out of hours, whether in the evening, at nighttime or on weekends. That helpline, which is based in the National Ambulance Service, is making a real difference.”

Ms McDonald, during her response, said:

“The death of Elisha Gault, the child I mentioned, was not captured in the official statistics.

“She is not officially recorded as a death by suicide. Instead of claiming – I believe erroneously – that deaths by suicide are falling, the Taoiseach would be better served by looking at those real live statistics and understanding that they do not represent the full picture.

“The Taoiseach rattled off figures to me, citing a figure of €40 million. However, only €14 million of that is new money. That is a fact.”

Transcript via Oireachtas.ie

Leah Farrell/Rollingnews and Mental Health Warriors (second pic)

A message sent out on June 9 by Gary (Gaz) Smith (top), chef at Michael’s seafood restaurant in Mount Merrion, Dublin 4.

Gaz added:

I’ve not had the balls to discuss this for 20 years…. I’ve written and deleted these words so many times over the years but now I feel brave enough to admit my suicide attempt. Chat to somebody, anybody, me, I’m here.

Gaz on Twitter

The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) has called on the government to prioritise mental health services in secondary schools after shocking statistics were highlighted at a presentation to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Mental Health.

The presentation highlighted that 70 Irish children, of school-going age, died by suicide in 2017.

The IACP has described these statistics as “shocking” and said that “urgent action is required to reverse” them.

The IACP has proposed the expansion of existing mental health supports in secondary school with a school-based therapeutic counselling service under the Pathfinder initiative which would provide students with direct and timely support.

Call for improved mental health services after report shows 70 school children died by suicide in 2017 (RTÉ)

Pic: Allstock

Independent Wexford TD Mick Wallace reads a statement from the sister of  Kenneth Rowe (top left), a beloved resident of Bridgetown, County Wexford, who took his own life last January.

Via The Wexford People, January 16, 2018:

‘In a eulogy, Kenneth’s father Peter said his son grew from a dearly loved baby into a loving, mischievous, free-spirited young man, full of life and love was always determined to overcome any obstacle in his way.

‘As a child he was obsessed with tractors and machinery and very often up to no good. As young adult he got through some difficult times with the love and support of close friends and family,’ said Peter.

His early twenties were years of amazing adventures. He travelled near and far – Mexico, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Algeria, Morocco, New Zealand and many other countries.

His favourite form of transport was a motorbike and when he visited other countries his loved to head off into the countryside and see how ordinary people lived.

‘He always wanted to meet real people. When he finished his travels, he went about getting every other vehicle license he could, from motorbike to artic.

‘And then he bought his first horse ‘Manny’ and that was the beginning of a whole new phase in his life with Eddie, Queenie and Millie joining the scene. In the middle of all this he worked as a rigger, a lorry driver amongst other things.

‘Between the horses and dogs he found lots of time to hang out with friends, neighbours and anyone who would stop and talk to him. If you said hello to Kenneth you could end up talking to him two hours or two days later.’

Kenneth (32) Kind, Thoughful And Respectful (Wexford People via Press Reader)

The River Corrib under the Wolfe Tone Bridge, Galway

Denise McNamara, in the Connacht Tribune, reports:

An 18-year-old girl who was rescued from the River Corrib following a suicide attempt, was then turned away from the Emergency Department at UHG.

Dripping wet from the attempted drowning at Wolfe Tone Bridge, she was assessed in the back of an ambulance by a triage nurse and was deemed unfit to be admitted to the hospital.

She kept insisting she would take her own life, so Gardaí brought her to a cell at Mill Street for her own safety.

When her father arrived to collect her from Galway Garda Station, she was still insisting that she would repeat the suicide attempt.

The pair then drove to the Emergency Department, where he pleaded with medical staff to admit his daughter due to her acute psychotic state. Staff refused, and she remained in a distressed and uncooperative state.

Samaritans: 116 123

Pieta House: 01 6010 000

Aware: 1890 303 302

Suicidal teen rescued from Corrib then turned away by UHG (Connacht Tribune)

Pic: Stan Carey