Sunday 21 July 2019

Limerick woman (19) who stopped a man jumping from a bridge shocked at passers-by who ignored situation

Limerick City at Dusk
Limerick City at Dusk

Patricia Murphy

An Irish woman who saved the life of a distressed man by pulling him down from a bridge’s ledge has said she was shocked that drivers and pedestrians did not offer to help her.

Shauna O’Riordan (19) from Limerick was walking to work when she saw a young man climb onto the ledge of Sarsfield Bridge and she immediately rushed to pull him down.

“I was just walking over the bridge and at that time I saw a man try and take his own life so immediately I dropped everything that I had and I just grabbed on to him reassuring him that it wasn’t what he wanted because so many people think it is. I was just telling him that there was support out there,” Shauna said speaking to Ryan Tubridy on 2fm.

“I grabbed onto this legs and obviously I was just trying to get him down from there as the best I could because I had never been in that situation. I was trying to say things as best I could and everything was popping into my head.

“Thankfully everything I did at that time worked but I wasn’t sure what the outcome was going to be,” said Shauna from Farranshone.

The teenager admitted she was shocked that more people did not come to the man’s aid even as streams of traffic and pedestrians passed.

“There was no one helping me. If something like that ever occurs you should do your very best to help him.

“To anyone who didn’t help me, I don’t mean any disrespect, but I was really shocked.

“There was people passing me by and kind of looking and the traffic was stopped and people were hesitating.

“Eventually two men came over so before he tried to leap again the men came to help to prevent him from jumping off again,” she said.

Shauna revealed that the situation has motivated her to create a greater awareness of depression and suicide and that there are so many support systems in place for those having suicidal thoughts.

“I kept telling him that there were people there for him because a lot of people think that there is no one there for them. He was just saying let me go. His life was in my hands because I was the one who grabbed his legs and tried to stop him.

“I grabbed his face and I said ‘You look at me. You don’t even know me and look at the effect you’re having on me’.

“He was twenty-something. I thought he has his whole life ahead of him. Obviously I would never understand what he was going through. For me it was about saving someone’s life and preventing them from doing this. I really hope he gets the help and support he needs.”

“I was crying and shaking and I just didn’t know what to think. It was frightening.

“It’s about raising awareness and trying to prevent suicide. It’s on the rise and so common that I think not enough people are aware of what’s going on around them,” she said.

“Human compassion is what’s needed at the end of the day.”

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