A newly formed support organisation for people suffering with mental health issues and addictions held a special ceremony at the Square last Friday to remember those who died by suicide.
The event which was hosted by Lets Talk Mental Health and Addiction was organised to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day which took place on Friday. The event was attended by local TD’s Peter Fitzpatrick and Ruairí O’Murchú as well as councillors Maeve Yore and Sean Kelly. The event was hosted by Cllr Declan Power who was representing Lets Talk Mental Health organisation who spoke about the powerful image of the empty shoes which had been placed in front of the courthouse to symbolise friends and family members who have been lost to suicide.
“Today is World Suicide prevention Day and we are here to remember loved ones who have passed through suicide. We need to talk more and share any problems we may have,” he said.
Fr Noel Kehoe from the Redemptorist church in Dundalk also spoke movingly about the lives lost to suicide and urged anybody suffering to ‘try and remember the good times as well as their suffering’.
“Hopefully today will act as a moment of healing for all of you. Only you know the experience of what it is like to lose a loved one through suicide and we pray for you today. We remember the people who walked in these shoes before us today and we think of their families who miss them everyday,” noted Fr Noel.
One of the event organisers Madeline Morgan thanked all the volunteers for helping get the Lets Talk Mental Health Shop on Clanbrassil St up and running while noting that all funds raised from the shop go straight back into trying to make a difference to improve mental health services. She also thanked the TD’s and councillors for attending and doing their best to try and improve services.
The family of the late Harry Taaffe who died by suicide last year were also in attendance and his brother Paul was on hand to release a dove in his memory.
There was also a World Suicide Prevention Day Memorial Event in St Helena’s Park, Dundalk organised by the local branch of SOSAD. Candles were lit at the event and stones were decorated in memory of those who were lost through suicide. The themse for the emotional event was the importance of talking and as the sun went down the park looked beautiful as candles were placed to form the word ‘Talk’.