Sunday 19 November 2017

'I did load a gun and I did pull the trigger...but I pulled it away at the last second' - Kevin 'Boxer' Moran on his battle with depression and literacy

Independent TD Kevin Boxer Moran at Coosan Point, Athlone.
Photo: Tony Gavin
Independent TD Kevin Boxer Moran at Coosan Point, Athlone. Photo: Tony Gavin
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Incoming Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran has described the moment he almost ended his life and revealed how he has only recently learned to read and write.

The Independent Alliance TD appeared on tonight's Late Late Show where he recounted his difficulties with mental health and literacy.

But before he went into studio the 54-year-old told Independent.ie about the moment he hit rock bottom.

"It’s something that I never spoke about or told anybody about. I kept it inside of me. I’m not proud of it," says the incoming Minister of State for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Flood Relief.

He was in his early 20s and financial problems in his taxi firm had stacked up on top of what he now believes was depression. He suffered panic attacks and didn’t know where to turn for help.

"This particular Sunday I was out with the lads at a clay pigeon shoot. Normally I’d drop the lads at the pub and I’d go home. But this day I didn’t go home. I went up a back road," he says.

In an almost confessional tone, he bluntly states: "What came over me that day for six or seven minutes I don’t know. It was a complete blackout. I did have a bad time in my life. I did load a gun and I did pull the trigger… But I pulled away the gun at the last second. What made me do that I can’t tell you."

In an exclusive interview in tomorrow's Irish Independent 'Boxer' also describes his life-long battle with dyslexia. He quit secondary school after only a few days and never achieved his Junior Cert.

He went on to become a successful local politician but failed in two bids to get elected to the Dáil.

"I still never told anybody my story. Four years ago my wife and I sat down. I failed in two attempts to get elected to the Dáil and we knew we had to do something about my education. We started doing scripts at home," he explained.

Then TDs Shane Ross and Michael Fitzmaurice came calling in the hope ‘Boxer’ would join the Independent Alliance.

"I had to explain to the lads the problems that I had. Shane said 'don’t worry about, we’ll help you all the way'," he said.

Read the full story in Saturday's Irish Independent

If you have been affected by issues raised in this article please contact the Samaritans in confidence on 116 123 or Pieta House on 1800 247 247 – or text HELP to 51444.

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