Ballinadee mural paints a strong message that it’s ok not to be ok

April 26th, 2022 8:30 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The colourful mural with an important message in Ballinadee village.

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A BALLINADEE family who lost their father to suicide two years ago have made an inspirational mural in the heart of their village, dedicated to anyone affected by suicide.

The McCarthy family, who are behind the quirky Ballinadee Bus accommodation site at their family farm, lost their dad Paddy to suicide almost two years ago.

However, their courage and positivity have seen the siblings work hard over the past two years to develop their own business, while also encouraging people to talk about mental health.

They even picked up an award recently for the mural, which was sponsored by Bank of Ireland, and they plan to use the winnings to invest back into the village.

Speaking to The Southern Star, Thomas McCarthy said the inspiration behind the mural was to brighten up the village but at the same time also have an important message.

‘Because of the amount of suicides over the past few years, we also wanted to add a positive message to people and it’s like a sign for people if they are struggling or if they’re having a bad day. Once they see it might trigger them to get help from someone,’ said Thomas, who took on the project with his sister Rachel.

‘It’s also nice to have a bit of colour and it’s positive and bright and we’re adding to it all the time. Also it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of local businesses too who contributed financially to cover the cost of materials, as well as an artist to complete the mural.’

Thomas said it really was a community effort and he thanked Mary O’Donovan for allowing them to paint it, and to Timjoe McCarthy who helped them put up the new wall, which he said is in a prime spot in the central of the village.

‘We also want to thank Colourtrend Paints who supplied us with the amazing quality paint, as well as our amazing artwork by Vanya.’

The mural is also unique in that it has the numbers of important support services on the wall, including Kinsale Youth Support Services (KYSS), which is the closest one to their village, and The Samaritans.

Meanwhile, Thomas and his siblings are already preparing for a busy summer season and are hoping that their second double decker bus, ‘Ballinadee Bus-Eile’ will complement their accommodation offerings on the family farm.

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