Northern Ireland news

Fiancée of Co Derry man (29) who took own life urges others in distress to seek help

Shane Brennan with his fiancée Ashley Kane and their son Teddy
Marie Louise McConville

A CO DERRY mother says her heart has been “broken into pieces” by the sudden death of her fiancée.

Shane Brennan (29), an amateur footballer who worked as a butcher in Coleraine, took his own life.

His partner Ashley Kane has urged anyone in distress to “reach out” for help, saying that “it’s OK not to be OK”.

Ms Kane, who has a one-year-old son, Teddy, with Mr Brennan, said his death has devastated all who knew him.

“I just miss him so much," she said.

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“He always gave his true self. That was his caring, honest, generous, fun-loving personality.”

She said the hardest part was the fact that there had been “no signs”.

“There was nothing to indicate why he did it,” she said.

Ms Kane said there had been no indication that anything was wrong and appealed for anyone in need of support to talk to someone.

“It’s OK not to be OK,” she said.

“I would just say if there is any sort of feeling in your body and head that you don’t want to be around any more, don’t think about it - go and get help.

“Think of who you have. Don’t be thinking nobody cares. There’s so many people who care. Go and seek help.”

Mr Brennan, who also had a son with a former partner, played soccer for several teams over the years including Coleraine Olympic FC and most recently North Coast FC.

Ms Kane described him as “the best person you could have in your corner”.

“Shane was just the life and soul of every group,” she said.

“Any place he went into, his smile would have just lit up the whole world. He always had a good thing to say about somebody.

“Shane was one of those people who put other people’s happiness in front of his own. Whatever he had he would give, the clothes off his own back. If he had 50p in his pocket to last a week, he would have given it to them.

“He just lived for his children. He adored his children.”

Ms Kane said she and Shane had been looking forward to Christmas and had spoken about their wedding.

“We talked about getting married all the time,” she said.

“We are just devastated. You want to know why and we will never know why. 

“Not everybody has processed it. I haven’t processed it properly. My heart is broken into pieces that never in a million years will be back together.”

Mr Brennan, who had been due to turn 30 next month, was found in the early hours of Saturday.

Posting on Facebook, Coleraine Olympic FC said it was “deeply saddened by not only his death but the fact that another young life has been lost in the community”.

“We would like it to be known to our players and the wider community, the club is here to support in anyway it can,” the post read.

“If anybody feels the need to talk, we are here and will never turn anyone away, whether it be a private message or 10 minutes out of our day for a coffee and a chat.

“It’s times like these our community needs to pull together and make sure nobody is left behind.”

Requiem Mass for Mr Brennan will be celebrated at St Malachy’s Church in Coleraine at 10am on Wednesday with burial afterwards in Coleraine Cemetery.

:: Anyone experiencing distress or despair or seeking guidance about someone they know can contact Lifeline on 0808 808 8000. The Samaritans can be reached on 116 123 or 028 9066 4422 or in the Republic 087 260 9090.

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