School leavers in Clare are being urged to reach out for help if they find themselves falling into addiction or violence as they enter the world of adulthood
Local Gardaí have been hosting a seminar entitled “It’s Your Choice” at glór in Ennis today, with speakers whose lives have been irreparably changed as a result of these issues addressing hundreds of school students.
This May, it will be two years since Patrick O’Connor from Mullagh attempted to take his life, after suffering from gambling and drug addiction, as well as mental health issues, for many years.
Now, he has turned his life around and is using these experiences to help prevent people falling into these traps in the first place.
Patrick has shared his story with 500 Leaving Cert students at glór in Ennis today.
Since the day that changed his life, Patrick has also formed a strong bond with Garda Margaret Leahy, who took the call that night – she says it’s an increasing issue Gardaí are coming across.
The impact of violence is also on the agenda, with Limerick man Brian Hogan sharing his first-hand experience of falling victim to it.
When living in the UK ten years ago, Brian was subject to an unprovoked one-punch attack and despite feeling fine afterwards and going home to bed, he ended up suffering a bleed on the brain and being in an induced coma for three months.
Today, he is confined to a wheelchair and has lost his sight
Brian says it’s had a huge impact on him, and on those around him.