Impact of suicide on GAA community explored

Former Cavan goalkeeper Alan O Mara is among those taking part in a documentary exploring the impact of suicide on the GAA community
Seanín Graham

THE impact of suicide and mental illness on the GAA community across Ireland will be explored in a new documentary.

Taobh Thiar den Gheansai (Behind the Hoodie) will speak to high-profile figures including former Cork hurler Conor Cusack about their own battles with depression and the added pressures of competing in sport.

Presenter Ainle Ó Cairealláin, a player with Na Piarsaigh in Cork, lost a manager to suicide a number of years ago. He speaks of the huge effect on the team, the club and himself.

Northern clubs will be represented by individuals from Antrim and Tyrone, with questions raised about what can be done by sporting authorities including the GAA and Gaelice Players Association (GPA) to help young players coping with mental health problems.

Cavan goalkeeper Alan O Mara Cavan also speaks about his severe depression that led him to contemplate taking his own life.

Mr Ó Cairealláin said: "It was a personal journey in many ways and the emotion was high at times. I met people who had a heavy burden to carry and people who were engaging with the issue of suicide. Questions were asked in this programme that we all need to face up to as a community and a society.”

  • The programme will be screened on Monday October 19, at 10pm on BBC Two NI

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