Quinlan bares his soul over illness
Published 18/05/2011 | 05:00
Rugby hardman Alan Quinlan last night bared his soul about his battle with depression.
The Munster and Ireland flanker, who is retiring at the end of the current season, admitted that during his darkest moments he had suicidal thoughts.
He played 27 times for Ireland and won two Heineken Cup winners' medals with Munster, but told an audience in Galway that during his dark days he was in "a pretty bad place".
He said he was speaking out to to throw his weight behind the Europe-wide Lean On Me campaign to promote mental health.
While he had written about his depression in his autobiography, he hadn't spoken publicly about it.
"I want to speak out and I'm not ashamed," he said to applause from his audience.
The biggest moment in dealing with his problem was opening up about it to his family and friends.
"I'm 37 in July and now speak with close friends and family and I'm much more aware of my thoughts and feelings. I still get moments and days when I don't feel too good, but being through it has helped me to have a more positive outlook on life," he added.