Sunday 19 November 2017

'Dara was a real do-er and a trailblazer... I'm just so gutted that she's gone' - friend pays tribute to well-known activist

Dara Quigley tragically died by suicide last month
Dara Quigley tragically died by suicide last month

Kathy Armstrong

Dara Quigley was a "real do-er and a trailblazer", a friend has said in a poignant tribute.

A probe has been launched by the Garda Ombudsman after CCTV of the well-known activist (36) being detained under the Mental Health Act was uploaded to Whatsapp and Facebook and then watched more than 100,000 times.

Tragically the well-known activist died by suicide several days later.

Around 200 people attended a vigil for Dara on Friday and among the crowd was her good friend Dolly Murphy.

Dara's friend Dolly Murphy attended the vigil in her honour on Friday
Dara's friend Dolly Murphy attended the vigil in her honour on Friday

Dolly said that she spoke to Dara after the video began to circulate online and she said her late friend seemed to brush it off.

She said: "After the video started going around she told me she was happy and that she had nothing more to hide.

"I thought she was just making a joke but I never pushed it with her."

Dolly, who lives in Drogheda in Co Louth, spoke highly about what a great friend Dara was.

She said: "I met her through the protests, she'd go up and down through the crowd talking to everyone, lashing out ideas for things.

"It was amazing to have a friend who would celebrate you, I have a brain injury and that didn't mean anything to her, she didn't see it as a fault.

Family & friends during a vigil for the late journalist and blogger Dara Quigley outside Leinster House
Family & friends during a vigil for the late journalist and blogger Dara Quigley outside Leinster House

"She was just a wonderful person who was full of empathy, she'd see a problem and she would want to make it better, she'd see I needed to see a neurologist and she'd want to fix that.

"She was a real do-er and a trailblazer, I'm just so gutted that she's gone, I just took it for granted that she was going to be a part of my future."

Dolly said she feels Dara would have been proud of people for hosting the vigil but she thinks the Government must do more to help the vulnerable in our society, particularly those with mental health and addiction issues.

She said: "If she saw this she'd be proud of the people and having a laugh.

"She'd like that people were being active and doing something.

"They do so many symbolic things at Leinster House, they like turning sod and planting trees but we need them to act, we need services for our people.

"We don't just need them now, we needed them years ago, they have to act, people are suffering and dying and it's just not  enough."

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article please contact Pieta House  on 1800 247 247 or Samaritans on 116 123

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