A BALLINADEE family, who lost their dad to suicide earlier this month, are appealing to farmers to look after their mental health, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Paddy McCarthy (59) was a father of four and his sudden death has devastated his wife Anne and his close-knit family.
Despite the trauma of the past few weeks, his children – Thomas, Anna, Rachel and Niall – have raised over €30,000, six times their target, for suicidie charity Pieta after they set up a GoFundMe page.
Paddy’s son, Thomas (24) remembers his dad as a music loving man who was big fan of Bruce Springsteen, Elbow and Kinsale band Crazy Chester.
He was also a triplet and had two brothers Gus and Tom. Sadly, Tom died at the age of seven following a farming accident in 1968.
‘Dad loved farming and being outside and he also loved music and dancing and was great craic,’ Thomas remembered. Thomas said that with the current lockdown measures in place some people might be feeling a bit more down, or not themselves.
‘The whole message we are trying to get across, especially to men and farmers, is to look after yourselves and others and watch your mental health. Something like this could be the tipping point for someone who is contemplating suicide.
‘Dad seemed perfectly fine at the time and he even visited my sister’s house the night before and had a big family meal. So it’s doesn’t really make any sense and we still don’t understand what happened.’
Thomas, who lives in Whistler in Canada, faced a gruelling three flights and a 23-hour journey to get back home to bury his dad. ‘The funeral was made more difficult due to the restrictions but locals lined out on the road, though, which was encouraging for us all.
‘It was about two days after the funeral that I read about the cancellation of this year’s Darkness into Light event and the impact this would have on their funding. So I thought we could do something really good for them and people could donate for dad. We want men and especially farmers to look out for help if they are struggling.’
To donate see Darkness into LIght Sunrise Appeal on www.gofundme.com.
For more info on Pieta contact the Cork office on 021-4395333 or see pieta.ie. You can call the IFA Pieta phone line at 1890-130022 Mon-Fri 9am to 6pm & Sat 10am to 2pm as part of ‘Mind Our Farm Families.’