independent

Thursday 18 September 2014

Personal tragedy inspires Kenny to take SOSAD role

Olivia Ryan

Published 11/09/2013 | 05:20

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Brian Duffy and Michael Donnelly from Dundalk Fire Station with Peter Moroney and Barry Watters of SOSAD, along with Paul Johnston, General Manager at Dundalk FC, and Manager Stephen Kenny who has been unveiled as SOSAD’s new patron.

THE death of two friends through suicide in the last year was the inspiration for Dundalk F.C Manager Stephen Kenny taking up the patronage of SOSAD.

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THE death of two friends through suicide in the last year was the inspiration for Dundalk F.C Manager Stephen Kenny taking up the patronage of SOSAD.

The manager spoke movingly of the tragic deaths, one of a close friend in 2012, which he said 'brought home the devastation' of suicide, at the launch of his new role as patron of the Louth charity.

SOSAD is a suicide prevention charity which is contacted by an average of 300 people every week who are in distress.

'I had two friends last year who took their own lives, so I understand the devastation it leaves behind. Sometimes you think: it is just so unnecessary.'

He paid tribute to the work of SOSAD in Louth and across the country in providing support services for people in distress.

'When you consider the suicide rates, the distress people are suffering for all sorts of reasons, broken homes, marriages, failed businesses, if they just had someone to talk to they might realise there is always hope. That's why the work of SOSAD is so important.'

The announcement of Stephen Kenny as the new patron coincided with SOSAD's launch of World Suicide Prevention Week and was aimed at helping the local organisation reach more of those people who are in need of the professional and caring support.

At a press conference in Oriel Park on Friday morning, Stephen spoke passionately about the work of SOSAD and expressed his delight and being asked to join such a worthy charity.

There were a large number of secondary school students from the Dundalk area in attendance as well as members of Dundalk Fire Brigade, members of Dundalk FC and local politicians.

SOSAD founder Peter Moroney thanked the football manager for taking on board the new patronage.

'Stephen has done a super job taking Dundalk FC from the brink to the top of the premier league and in a similar way we try to help everyone who contacts us, whether they be depressed and/or suicidal and get them back to their own summit and help them learn to live their lives as normal as everyone else,' said Mr. Moroney.

'So a very big welcome to Stephen and the very best of luck to him and the team.'

The Argus

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