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Suicide victims’ families to meet with President McAleese

By Kieran Hughes

Twenty families from North Belfast who have lost loved ones to suicide are to meet the Irish president tomorrow (Friday) and will ask for her support in their ongoing campaign for suicide awareness and prevention.

Mary McAleese has invited 40 bereaved families across the country to meet with her at Áras an Uachtaráin to hear their stories and also to raise awareness of suicide prevention.

The event is being organised by North Belfast-based PIPS Programmes and Tralee, County Kerry suicide awareness group, the Open Arms Project.

Twenty families from Belfast, ten families from Newry and Mourne and ten families from County Kerry will join together to tell the president of the urgent need for more government action to tackle the scourge of suicide across the country.

Gerard McCartan, from PIPS Programmes lost his own son Danny to suicide in 2005.

He said the meeting with the president is another boost in their campaign.

“We will be meeting with Mary McAleese and telling her of the serious issues we face with regards to suicide prevention here in the North and across Ireland,” he said.

“She has been very supportive in the past and she has been very proactive in supporting our cause and we will be showing our appreciation for that.

“It is also something for the families to look forward to. It will bring them a bit of good spirit and comfort that Mary McAleese has even thought of them.”

The meeting comes one day before World Suicide Prevention day on Saturday (September 10). A range of events are taking place across Belfast to mark the day.


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