TV and Radio

Radio review: Shedding light on walking in darkness

Darkness Into Light events took place all over Ireland last weekend, raising awareness of suicide, self-harm and mental health

Sunday with Miriam, RTÉ 1

Nightingales, Radio 3

LAST weekend, Darkness into Light walks took place all across Ireland to raise awareness about all those affected by suicide.

On Sunday with Miriam, RTÉ sports reporter Evanne ni Chuilinn talked honestly about her younger brother, Cormac, who took his own life.

Brave is a word that tends to be overused, but it takes guts to talk on radio about something so deeply personal.

What she conveyed was love and compassion but also frustration at how her brother suffered.

Addiction centres don't take people on any drugs - and that rule includes prescription drugs, she pointed out. She would like to see changes.

She and her brother were both adopted and were just a few years apart. They had the same great childhood, she said - plenty of activities which they did together in a beautiful place, Kilkenny, with two very loving parents.

But whilst Evanne's path went in one direction, Cormac struggled with depression and addiction.

Her parents tried everything and she remembers when she was at college, having to come home to Kilkenny every Wednesday for family therapy sessions to talk about feelings... something she really did not want to do.

Her brother wanted desperately to have a normal life but it was not to be - and it was deeply difficult for him to be surrounded by those who found that jogging or a special diet made the difference when those things did not work for him.

Not everyone gets better and Cormac was one of those who did not, she said. The deep sorrow felt by herself, her little sister and her parents was evident.

Still on the theme of walking in the darkness, Radio 3 featured Nightingales earlier this month when six musicians went deep into the Sussex woods to play music with the small birds.

It felt magical - everyone spoke in hushed voices in the quiet of the night as the nightingales sang their hearts out.

You felt you were sitting round a crackling camp fire, drawn in by the musicians and the beauty of birdsong.

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