‘One man hadn’t slept or eaten since the fire’
NEW ROSS BASED PSYCHOTHERAPIST AND HEALER DEREK VOWS TO HELP GRENFELL VICTIMS FOR YEARS
CREACON LODGE owner Derek O’Neill is committing huge resources to help survivors of the Grenfell Towers fire, having visited the area earlier this month.
Derek, who is an internationally acclaimed psychotherapist, motivational speaker and author, was asked by some ‘powerful clients’ in London to travel to the city to hold a workshop for the victims.
Derek said: ‘ They just felt that there was nothing really being done for the people who were in a desperate state. They asked me to come over and help as I had helped people with their 9/11 experiences in New York.’
Derek travelled to London on August 11 and made national headlines within 24 hours, being described as a psychotherapist to the stars. Around 30 people attended, including around ten leaders of local community groups. The workshop included one young man who said his life was transformed by spending time with Derek after the workshop. Derek said: ‘ There was a lot of anger at the government at the meeting as people felt that nothing was being done. I spoke to people who were in the tower or lived near it. One man hadn’t slept or eaten since he saw people falling from the tower. Whenever he closed his eyes he saw someone jumping from the windows of the huge tower, but having spent a few hours with me - whenever he closed his eyes the tower was the size of a sim card and all the noise and smells of the day were gone.’
Derek was praised on social media by music star Niall Horan and Rio Ferdinand for his ‘incredible work’.
He said: ‘My job wasn’t to get caught up in the politics. I was warned that the workshop could get violent and ten minutes into it this woman started screaming at me saying: “Who do you think you are telling us to breathe and be happy and be well”. I told them that I couldn’t imagine what they had been through and that their anger and emotions were legitimate.’
He said the test workshop lasted two-and-a-half hours, adding that he will return in early September for another workshop
‘It wasn’t long enough so I am going back in,’ Derek said, adding that it was very emotional being at the Grenfell site where at least 80 peope were killed, some falling from the tower inferno.
He has offered to work with the victims over two years free of charge and to provide 60 teachers from across the world for workshops in this time. ‘We will do it on a rotation over the next years to help the children using child psychologists treating them for long term anxiety.’
Derek worked with local activist Michael Defoe, who runs the Harrow Club, a youth and community centre based minutes from Grenfell Tower, in London. He said child psychologists, healers, spiritual leaders and other professionals will help the survivors. ‘I have been training these people in my own methodology, which is why I chose them. They are willing to fly over on their own expenses. After two years we will see what sponsorship we can get. There was one woman after 9/11 who took six-and-a-half years to come to terms with it.’
ABOVE: Grenfell tower block on fire in London back in June. TOP: Creacon Lodge owner Derek O’Neill.