Families honour suicide victims

Thousands of families and friends of people lost to suicide came together last night to remember their loved ones at candle-lit ceremonies around the country.

Relatives of those who took their own lives attended ceremonies in counties Limerick, Cork, Galway and Wexford to attend Console’s Christmas Celebration of Light.

Seventeen year-old ballerina Thea Cusen-King, launched last night’s vigil at St Augustine’s Church, Limerick, with a graceful performance piece before families experienced an evening of song, music, poetry and reflection.

Families lit candles and a minute’s silence was held to remember those taken by suicide. According to Console, more than 500 people lost their lives to suicide in Ireland last year.

Last night, six celebrations of light were held by the national suicide prevention and bereavement charity, with a turnout of 5,000.

Treacy Aspel was 21 when her father Matt, 44, took his own life in 2001.

The co-founder of The Creative Institute — which offers businesspeople and the public quirky workshops on positivity through improvised comedy — said her biggest mistake was not dealing quickly enough with her father’s suicide.

“The thing that made it easier for me was when I actually started talking about my feelings. I was then told my feelings were normal,” she said.

* Console has 24-hour helpline support. It has a full-time centre in Limerick, at Console House, 114 The Grange, Raheen, Limerick (061 306792) and in Dublin, Cork, Wexford, Galway, Mayo and Kildare. It can also be reached on freephone 1800 201 890.

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