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My son's spirit helped guide Dubs to historic win

The father of a Dublin footballer who died from suicide says he felt his son's spirit guide them to win the All Ireland.

Tomas Mulligan was 30 when he died in August 2007, a few hours after Dublin lost to Kerry and failed to qualify for the All-Ireland football final.

That Sunday he had played a match for his club, Round Towers Clondalkin, before going to the semi-final in Croke Park.

Tomas, who played for Dublin under both Paul Caffrey and Tommy Lyons, was found dead in his Clondalkin home that night.

But his father Tom has told how he believes Tomas's spirit helped Dublin to win their first All-Ireland final in 16 years.

"I didn't have a ticket, but one came about, and I could feel Tomas there on the day helping the team," said a proud Tom.

"Tomas would have loved to be playing in the final. It's every Dublin player's dream to walk Croke Park behind the Artane Boy's Band and Tomas was no different," he explained.

After the game, Tom went to the Central Bar on O'Connell Street for a few drinks

"It's where Tomas would have gone so I met up with a few pals there to celebrate," he said.

"Then I arranged to meet some more of his pals from Good Counsel and we had some more pints," Tom added.

"But the icing on the cake was when I heard about the reception in the Mansion House and went along and got in to meet the lads," Tom explained.

Speaking of their only son's sudden death, Tom said he and his wife Frances had no idea that Tomas was about to do what he did. "He was very talented, and a great guy to be around, but he was shy I suppose. It was a bolt from the blue," he explained.

Since Tomas's loss, his family has worked to raise money for Pieta House, a centre set up for the prevention of self-harm and suicide.

"The one thing that anybody who is thinking of doing what Tomas did needs to know is that there is always somebody to talk to," said Tom.

Tom is now auctioning a GAA jersey signed by the Dublin hurling team to raise funds for Pieta House. Bids can be made on 01 6010000.