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Saturday 25 November 2017

Chef calls for suicide awareness campaign

Derry Clarke
Derry Clarke

CELEBRITY chef Derry Clarke has said there were no warning signs that his teenage son was planning to kill himself, writes Denise Calnan.

The top Dublin chef wants to see a campaign on suicide, similar to that rolled out to tackle road deaths.

Clarke made the brave decision to speak out after he and his wife Sallyanne tragically lost their 16-year-old son Andrew last year.

The teenager was found unconscious in the garage of the family home just two days after Christmas. He died on New Year's Eve.

"It (suicide) is an epidemic in Ireland," the 56-year-old said on TV3's 'Ireland AM'.

"There's been a blanket campaign on drinking and driving and speeding and it's really worked so I'd like to see that transferred on to suicide."

Clarke, who owns Michelin-starred restaurant l'Ecrivan in Dublin, has become an ambassador for support service Teen-Line Ireland since his son's death.

"If Andrew had had Teen-Line's number in his mind, or somewhere at hand, just an example, he could have rang them and there could have been a chance," he said.

For more information, see www.teenline.ie or call 1800 833 634.

Irish Independent

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