SOLES FOR THE SOULS AS ST PETER’S AND SOSAD REMEMBERS
Hundreds of pairs of shoes placed on the steps of St Peter’s Church to remember those many loved ones lost to suicide each year in this country
EDWARD Holly is the master of sending them home with more than a hint of happiness and satisfaction safely tucked away in hearts that sometimes need a bit of tender loving care.
The man behind the music with the St Peter’s Male Voice Choir, he was on hand to mastermind another musical delight on Sunday - this time on the steps of St Peter’s.
To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, the St Peter’s Parish Outreach group and SOSAD came together to host a remembrance afternoon, which featured a touching tribute to those no longer with us.
350 pairs of shoes were placed on the steps, representing the many hundreds lost to suicide each year.
From speakers such as Paul Egan of the Outreach Group and Marie Johnson from SOSAD, the theme was for people to speak out and tell someone about problems and issues.
‘A gentle word can make all the difference,’ Marie remarked, adding that there is help out there.
Paul Egan said the day was about helping to ‘ease the pain’ and at the same time, look at how preventative measures can be put in place to help those that need it most.
Archdeacon James Carroll told a personal story of how he lost a friend while living in London many years ago and how his loss stayed with him.
‘ Today is special for us, in your heart you can name him or her,’ he added, stating that most of us know of someone who died by suicide.
‘How fragile we are,’ he warned and just asked that ‘we be there for each other.’
The birth of a new Garden of Remembrance at the Augustinian was highlighted by Fr Colm O’Mahony, highlighting the fact that ‘community is at the core’ of the Shop Street church.
Deacon John Taaffe also explained the significance of the shoes and the need to remember those gone.
The male voice choir were outstanding as usual. From ‘Abide with Me’, right through to ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, they shone through the driving rain by times, brightening up the darkening clouds overhead, until the sun glimmered again.
But perhaps the highlight, the true inspiration, was Sean Tester.
With the wind ripping across West Street, he stood in the gale and belted out a version of ‘A Bridge Over Troubled Waters’ as good as any. A true genius.
Afterwards, as a candle of hope was carried through the doors of St Peter’s, some headed to the Barbican for a chance to chat and meet the team from SOSAD and share any worries or indeed, just to talk.
Certain days are special in this town and Sunday last was one of them.