PHOTO GALLERY: Hundreds turn out for Hope(D) Vigil March in Newbridge, October 10

Suicide Victims Remembered

Sarah Peppard

Reporter:

Sarah Peppard

Email:

sarah.peppard@leinsterleader.ie

Between 450 and 500 people took to the streets of Newbridge last night, for a vigil organised by mental health charity Hope(D) to remember those who have died by suicide.

After a devastating week that saw five suicides in the Newbridge and south Kildare areas, a March was organised to remember those affected.

A walk through the town, and a short reflection was held at Linear Park, where candles and lanterns were lit in memory of those who have passed away.

Chairman of Hope(D), Jim Brady, said it was a very emotional evening for all.

"Last night was overwhelming, it was very emotional even for myself, the turnout of people from the town was just unbelievable.

"What has it done? It has got all of the people out, and got the conversation started in relation to mental health, and that's all we want.

"We're just scourged with the suicides across the county, in particular Newbridge."

Speakers included Kathleen Conlon, who lost her own son to suicide, and Mr. Brady said the stories were heart wrenching.

"We need to get people out to talk to say that there is help, there is hope.

"The whole thing last night went exactly the way we wanted it to."

A heat was placed on the river, to symbolise togetherness and talk.

"A lady came over to me and said 'Newbridge should be a Hello town', and it was a lovely gesture and idea and we should develop that."

Jim added that he hopes more events like the vigil will be organised in the future.

ALL PHOTOS: Tony Keane