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PE­TER Moroney picked up a pho­to­graph of his late son, Si­mon, and the rest of the fam­ily.

He ca­ressed it and thought of good times. He was drift­ing away, hav­ing taken a mas­sive dose of tablets, but some­thing stopped him from clos­ing his eyes for the last time. It was Si­mon.

‘I think he said ‘ go back’ and I did,’ the founder of the sui­cide pre­ven­tion char­ity SOSAD stated this week.

Just a month ago, Pe­ter at­tempted to take his own life, but stopped ‘at the fi­nal fence’ and to­day, be­gins the road to win back his health, both men­tally and phys­i­cally.

He rang his wife as he slipped away and asked her to phone for an am­bu­lance.

They rushed to his aid and he ended up in in­ten­sive care in Na­van hos­pi­tal. ‘I died, they had to re­sus­ci­tate me,’ he re­vealed.

He says he knows what he put his fam­ily through and will never do it again.

‘My or­gans shut down and now I have to be­gin the process of build­ing my­self up again. I see it as re­boot­ing my­self and it might take a year, but I’ll get there.’

What hurts him is that the fam­ily had to wit­ness the af­ter­math of his at­tempt, the rush­ing about in the hos­pi­tal, be­ing sent from the room, the re­sus team com­ing in. It’s sparked a new be­gin­ning, he says.

The help he re­ceived from the HSE since he left the hos­pi­tal is im­mense.

‘ They came up ev­ery day, they put a bril­liant safety net around me. They said they’d ring at cer­tain times and the phone would ring. I can’t thank them enough,’ he stated.

Pe­ter now wants to ‘clear the air’ since his de­par­ture from SOSAD.

He has heard ru­mours and re­ports of rows, money and the rest. ‘It was be­tween me and the board, an is­sue be­tween us,’ he states.

‘I’m a stub­born, thick git, but my fo­cus, al­ways, was on help­ing peo­ple and noth­ing got in the way of that.

‘ The staff and vol­un­teers in SOSAD are won­der­ful peo­ple and will con­tin- ueue to be won­der­ful for those that need help. I’m speak­ing this week be­cause the clients and vol­un­teers con­tinue to need sup­port.

‘I have to thank the many peo­ple who have sup­ported me and stop me to say hello and how is it go­ing. It helps. I even got a call from Paddy Town­ley and I joked with him, that I wasn’t ready to see him just yet!

‘I’m very, very lucky to be alive and to have a se­cond chance. I un­der­stand how stupid I was. It was such a haze and I just flipped. I just thought it was the best thing.

‘I was bad for a year with de­pres­sion and it was get­ting worse and worse but I’m de­lighted I’m still here and de­lighted I’m still alive.

‘I find it hard to sit and re­lax but the dog is get­ting plenty of walks down the park and I’m build­ing up my phys­i­cal strength. I’ve ac­cepted my de­pres­sion and I’ll sort it out. I know I have to get my­self right but I would love to go back to help­ing oth­ers,’ he stated.

In his days with SOSAD he can safely say that ‘ those with de­pres­sion are the best ac­tors in the world’ be­cause they don’t want peo­ple to see them strug­gling.

He says it is a per­sonal sad­ness that there are no mem­bers of the Moroney fam­ily now in­volved with SOSAD but is thank­ful for what it has done and con­tin­ues to do, in­spired by the staff and vol­un­teers.

‘My at­ten­tion was al­ways on the next per­son. Once we got a per­son seen and in the sys­tem, it was a case of mov­ing to the next in­di­vid­ual out there, be­cause there are so many.

‘What kept me go­ing was meet­ing a per­son in need of help and meet­ing them again months later and see­ing the dif­fer­ence. It would lift me for a week.

‘SOSAD al­lowed me to find out why I’m here and what I had to do. I urge peo­ple to go to SOSAD and meet the won­der­ful team there.’

As he takes the lead and the dog heads for (an­other!) walk, Pe­ter Moroney re­mains up­beat about the fu­ture and his jour­ney ahead.

‘Come up and say hello to me. You know, we all strug­gle at times and you need help. I was the worst in the world when it came to doc­tors but know I lis­ten to ev­ery­thing they say and ad­vise.

‘Si­mon has al­ways guided me in my life and he brought me back for a se­cond chance. Thanks son.’


Pe­ter (left) at the open­ing of the SOSAD of­fices in Drogheda.

Pe­ter Moroney

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