Northern Ireland news

Sinn Féin MP opens up about her PTSD diagnosis

Michelle Gildernew has spoken previously about battling depression

Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew has spoken of her diagnosis with post-traumatic stress disorder due to the Troubles.

The 49-year-old Fermanagh and South Tyrone representative, who comes from a high-profile family linked to the birth of the Civil Rights movement, received the diagnosis six year ago.

Ms Gildernew, who served as a former agriculture minister and was also a chair of the Stormont health committee, first went public about her 20 year battle with clinical depression in 2012.

During a meeting of the Oireachtas committee in Dublin earlier this week on the Good Friday Agreement, the veteran politician highlighted victims of less well-known atrocities.

"There are victims and survivors right across these islands, while the Dublin and Monaghan bombings understandably get a lot of attention, there were bombings in Cavan as well and families bereaved and children who died as a result of that," she told the committee on Thursday.

"Anybody who has lost a loved one knows what it feels like to be a victim.

"There is an awful lot of pain and hurt out there, I recognise that, we've all been through the conflict, I was diagnosed with PTSD in 2013 as a result of it, there is a lot of damaged people out there.

"We have to look at wider societal issues and the impact we have on prescribed drugs, our suicide rates and all of that.

"There is a still an awful lot of hurt and if it is not tackled and dealt with properly, then that hurt will continue to be generational and that pain will be felt for years to come."

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