Cork’s Suicide Epidemic
Last night - Friday 24th November 2016 - around midnight - I browsed R.I.P. .ie knowing that an old neighbour was seriously ill and I was checking for up to date news. I came across the name of a young Cork hurler, a youth whose progress I had been monitoring for a few years, and a cold chill went through me when I saw his death in print with the line added "Donations to Pieta House".
I knew instantly this was another tragic story and just last week my club mourned a 53 year former player who took the same fatal path with his life in far away Dubai.
One 53 - One Just 20. The following morning (Saturday) I received a call at 9am from a club colleague and all the circumstances surrounding the young mans tragic end of life story were revealed.
The story is not suitable for print. Cork city and county in the last 12 months has gone through an epidemic of suicides unbecoming any society.
We all ask the same question. Why oh Why.
Nobody can put their finger on the pulse that triggers this awful sad deed and it just goes on and on. Last Sunday a huge crowd of mourners assembled at the local parish church in late afternoon as the remains of the 53 year old were brought to the church and now exactly one week later, those same mourners will again assemble for the arrival of the remains of the 20 year old clubman.
The former deceased men were G.A.A. through and through and the silent lonely deaths experienced by both men knocks hard at the conscience asking could these deaths have been prevented.
The answer is most likely "NO".
Can the top table of national G.A.A. consider a concept to assist persons before they contemplate the final act? It is virtually impossibe to answer.
Speaking with former Galway hurler, Iggy Clarke, today Saturday, looking for answers around the entirety of suicide, this is an act that only the person making the final decision can explain.
And then it is too late.
The question of prevention is loaded with permutations and the issue of suicide prevention all over Ireland requires immense consideration but when this fatal act comes upon your own family and your club, suicide prevention takes on a whole new meaning.