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Wednesday 20 August 2014

'I thought of my family and how it would devastate them'

Marian O'Flaherty

Published 19/06/2013 | 05:36

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Musician Méabh Ní Beaglaoich.

WEST Kerry musician and singer Méabh Ní Bheaglaoich took the brave step last week of revealing her battle with depression during a candid interview with Raidió na Gaeltachta's Pádraig Ó Sé on his radio series Comhrá an Tráthnóna.

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WEST Kerry musician and singer Méabh Ní Bheaglaoich took the brave step last week of revealing her battle with depression during a candid interview with Raidió na Gaeltachta's Pádraig Ó Sé on his radio series Comhrá an Tráthnóna.

Méabh, the daughter of well-known musician and singer Séamus Ó Beaglaoich and his wife Máire, was interviewed by Pádraig about her life, her battle with depression and the salvation she found in her music and the love of her family.

In the programme, broadcast on Raidió na Gaeltachta last Thursday, Méabh revealed that she felt very isolated and alone after moving to Limerick to go to university in her late teens. She was unhappy there and left to move back home, settling in Dingle.

"Looking back now, I can see that it was all downhill from then. I couldn't see it at the time, but I see it now. I was depressed, I had no motivation. I wanted to be learning music and songs, but I didn't have the energy, the soul or spirit, to do that," she told Pádraig.

Méabh also revealed in the interview that the depression lasted for about a year and half. "I felt really stupid that I wasn't enjoying this life which looked great on paper. I felt that I had let my family down because I'd left university and as a result I stayed away from them. I isolated myself from people and even when I got an invitation to go out I thought it was only because people wanted to be nice to me, but didn't really want me to come along."

In a very open and courageous interview, Méabh revealed that she used to go for a few drinks on her own, just for the company. She also revealed that she considered committing suicide twice but that her deep conviction of the love of her parents and family for her stopped her each time.

"I thought about my family, how this would devastate them and they would never be the same again... I'd see my mother and my father's faces, and that would just stop me".

The first step towards a new chapter was when Méabh eventually moved back home to Baile na bPoc, a house she said that was "filled with people who loved me, a house full of music".

"I think the music saved me. It repaired my spirit and gave me respite any time I played," she added.

In the interview, Méabh also spoke of how her family's support and professional counselling helped her to get back to herself. She said some of the thoughts she had at that time were "very dark, awful, but that sometimes we all have these thoughts and it's vital that we talk to someone about it."

The interview was broadcast on Comhrá an Tráthnóna last Thursday and repeated last Sunday. It can be heard online on the RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta website, RTE.ie/RnaG/Comhra-An-Trathnona.

Following the interview Padraig Ó Sé told The Kerryman how the programme was one of the most interesting and revealing in the series to date and he hopes that other young people in the same situation may find solace and hope in Meabh's story.

Kerryman

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