BY OLIVIA KELLEHER
THE family of a farmer who died by suicide at the grave of his mother and brother have appealed to those who experience emotional distress to reach out to charities such as Pieta House.
Paddy McCarthy (59) of Cloncouse, Ballinadee was a humorous and kind husband and father-of-four who took great pride in his farm and his family, his inquest heard this week.
Cork County Coroner’s Court, sitting in Bandon, heard that on May 1st, Paddy carried out his farming work alongside his daughter Rachel at their farm in Ballinadee.
In a Garda statement, Rachel said that, along with her father, they completed a number of jobs that morning after 9am.
She considered sitting down in the kitchen with him to write a list of work to be done on the farm.
Instead she saw her father leave in his car and presumed he had left to buy cattle feed.
Later that morning the news was broken to her that her father had been found dead by suicide at the grave of his mother who had passed a few years earlier. Paddy was a triplet and the grave was also that of his brother Tom who died in a farming accident in 1968.
Two witnesses, an elderly woman and a young mother, gave evidence of stumbling across the body of Mr McCarthy at the graveyard.
Garda David Barrett said that he attended at the scene at 11.55am where he observed the body of Mr McCarthy lying at the grave. A note written by Mr McCarthy had been found at the house.
Coroner Frank O’Connell, having heard the evidence of the case, said that he didn’t think he had ever presided over a ‘sadder one.’
Since the passing of Mr McCarthy, his family have become mental health advocates raising over €32,000 for Pieta House.
Rachel McCarthy has urged those who are in emotional pain to seek help. Her brother Thomas said there were no warning signs leading up to the suicide of their father.
‘He loved Bruce Springsteen. He loved music. He loved dancing. He just loved life. That is why it is such a shock. He really loved the farm. You think “how could he leave behind something he loved so much?” It is surreal.’
Mr McCarthy is survived by his loving wife Ann and his children Anna, Thomas, Rachel and Niall.
The family has asked the public to continue to donate to Pieta House in this challenging time for the charity.