Anti suicide messages beam out over River Shannon

Anti suicide messages beam out over River Shannon

Eight anti-suicide messages of hope were beamed out over the River Shannon in Limerick tonight as part of a project to try to cut the numbers of people taking their own lives on the river.

The initiative, which is the brainchild of Leaving Certificate student Katie Whelan, went live at 7.30pm on Thomond Bridge, and was launched by local Munster rugby star Keith Earls.

Katie, who's young cousin Lisa passed away after entering the river, said: "It was amazing. There were hundreds of people there. We released a load of coloured balloons to remember everyone who has passed away. I want this to be a new beginning now and the start of positive mental health in Limerick."

Anti suicide messages beam out over River Shannon

Katie, 18, had a vivid dream in which her late cousin stepped away from the river after seeing a brightly lit message of hope in the sky. The dream sparked the Katie's idea to start the "Lisa's Light" campaign to "Light Up Limerick's Bridges".

In recent years scores of families have been left devastated after their loved ones perished in the River Shannon resulting in the formation of a plethora of local search and rescue groups including the Corbett Suicide Prevention Patrol which patrols the riverfront hoping to prevent people from taking their own lives.

Anti suicide messages beam out over River Shannon

Katie praised Limerick City & County Council and the services of local graphic design firm Alphaset which has crafted the LED messages for free.

"I ran into so many dead ends with so many different companies, and then I sent on my drawings to Alphaset and they said they could do it. A couple of weeks later they had a prototype built which was just amazing to see. We brought it into the council and they gave us the go ahead."

Anti suicide messages beam out over River Shannon

Around three hundred people attended the switching on of the lights, which read messages including...

"It's the little things"

"Add friends to your tea"

"Hope"

"Look up, look forward"

"Everyday is a new beginning"

Katie said: "My ultimate aim is to boost positive mental health in Limerick and to hopefully get through to people (contemplating suicide), because sometimes people slip through the net, and I just want to help reach those people.

Katie said she hoped the initiative can spread to other cities.


More in this Section

Alan Kelly to be elected Labour party leaderAlan Kelly to be elected Labour party leader

'We have other lines,' says Tony Holohan as doctors urge Govt to come clean over PPE supplies'We have other lines,' says Tony Holohan as doctors urge Govt to come clean over PPE supplies

FF and FG set for Seanad majorityFF and FG set for Seanad majority

'I am no longer living,' says Cameron Blair's mother as teenager tells court he never intended to murder'I am no longer living,' says Cameron Blair's mother as teenager tells court he never intended to murder


Lifestyle

With documentary film ‘Fantastic Fungi’ set to take the world by storm, Joe McNamee looks at the fabulous world of mushroomsDocumentary explores the magic of mushrooms

I lead a very busy life — I’m a mature student in college — and I separated from my partner but the separation was my decision. I hate myself when it beckons as it ultimately makes me fatter, it has the reverse effectDear Louise: I had my bulimia under control. But the demon has returned

This year has been particularly difficult and stressful, and I think that’s an even more important reason to make time for your health.Derval O'Rourke: Resistance is far from futile and necessary

Best-selling author Faith Hogan is keeping the faith during the lockdown, thanks to her Moy Valley haven in Ballina, Co Mayo.Shape I'm in: Keeping the Faith during lockdown

More From The Irish Examiner