Saturday 24 February 2018

Great Irish writers team up to raise funds for suicide

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

TOP names in the Irish literary world have joined forces for a book to help tackle suicide.

Authors Anne Enright, Roddy Doyle and Dermot Bolger have all contributed a short story to the book 'Silver Threads of Hope' to raise money for the national suicide prevention charity Console.

Among the other writers involved were Emma Donoghue, Pat McCabe and Colum McCann.

Booker prize winner Ms Enright, who launched the collection last night at Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, was the brainchild behind the fundraising effort.

In the foreword to the book, she draws on her own struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts.

Ms Enright reveals it was a discussion with Console founder Paul Kelly, who got author and broadcaster Sinead Gleeson involved, that led to the New Island Books volume.

Anthology

"Paul had discussed the idea of an anthology of Irish writers with Anne Enright, but at that stage there was just one story on board -- from the legendary Roddy Doyle," Ms Gleeson said.

"I then began the task of asking writers whether they would hand over a pristine, unpublished short story for free in aid of Console.

"Nearly everyone I asked said yes without hesitation, and we have 28 great authors unified under the title."

Mr Kelly, who founded the charity after his sister Sharon took her own life at the age of 21, said the writers were sending out a message to people in crisis that they are not alone.

"In times of suicidal crisis, people often feel that they are completely isolated," he said.

"In producing this book, a group of our finest writers have joined together to let people who may be in trouble know that they are not alone."

Console has a helpline at 1800 201 890 to support people in crisis.

Irish Independent

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