Irish Examiner view: Family's gesture turns tragedy into hope

Family of three brothers who died in a double murder-suicide wants to establish a foundation to offer counselling for those in distress
Irish Examiner view: Family's gesture turns tragedy into hope

Carmel O'Gorman with Stephanie, Jack and Elaine Hennessy are taking part in a sponsored sleep-out in Mitchelstown on Saturday night to raise funds for low-cost counselling. Picture: Cork Mental Health

It takes a particular kind of selflessness, and no little courage, to try to turn personal tragedy into something positive for all of society. 

The weight of a tragedy, especially if it involved several family members, can be so overpowering that it is more than difficult to see beyond immediate circumstances.

Yet that is what the Hennessy family has done. 

The family of three brothers who died in a double murder-suicide in February hopes to raise funds to establish a foundation to offer counselling for those in distress.

Launching the appeal, Elaine Hennessy, who lost her father and two uncles in the North Cork tragedy, also pleaded with those in the grip of one kind of anguish or another not to “bottle up” emotions. 

I want anyone who is suffering out there to get help.

"I have been in counselling myself and it is so important to talk,” she said.

This help-others initiative, and many others like it, are entirely laudable, but it is hard not to think that, if we had properly funded mental health services, the need would not arise or at least be as great.

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