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Suicide

•I am not the type of person who would write a letter to an editor of a newspaper. However, this changed for me when I read Fionnan Sheahan's article: "Ahern's legacy marked in Dail Hanging."

The opening line in this article read as follows: "Bertie Ahern was finally hung at midday in Leinster House yesterday." While I do appreciate Fionnan is a very good writer, on this occasion I will beg to differ. His wording, I feel, was rather insensitive.

You will now ask, why? This week is National Suicide Prevention Week and Saturday is World Suicide Prevention Day. I lost my younger brother to suicide last year and I don't take too kindly to this kind of editorial.

Worldwide, more than one million people die each year from suicide. In Ireland alone last year, there were nearly 500 deaths by suicide -- my brother being one of those statistics.

But to myself and my family he was more than a statistic; he was a son, brother, uncle, nephew, boyfriend, grandson and friend.

Many, many families have been and will continue to be affected by suicide so please, please do think again when you want to grab headlines.

The hurt left behind for families at times can be unbearable. I never knew the pain of suicide and the impact it has on families until it hit our doorstep.

Jacinta O'Sullivan
Naas, Co Kildare

Irish Independent