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Waterford hurler Maurice Shanahan opens up about attempted suicide in stunningly brave interview

‘The whole of Lismore were out looking for me… they found me in time, I suppose.’

Source: WLR FM Waterford/YouTube

ALL-STAR HURLER Maurice Shanahan, yesterday engaged in an intimately emotional interview with Waterford’s WLR FM.

In a lengthy heartfelt talk, Shanahan bravely and honestly speaks about his battle with depression, a battle that was almost lost twice with the Déise star making attempts on his own life.

“I got really bad: I tried to attempt suicide. That’s not an easy thing to say, it’s just something that came over me that I wanted to end my life. I’m glad today that I didn’t,” said the 25-year-old.

Maurice Shanahan celebrates scoring his side's second goal with Shane Bennett Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“I don’t remember much about doing it. I did think about it for a long time. I thought about it for a week or two before I attempted it. I got home one Sunday evening and I took an overdose.

“I texted my sister after taking it, around an hour later. I texted her because I thought, by the time she came that I would have been gone. I didn’t want my parents walking in to find me dead in the bed. I wanted her to come in and see it first.

“It would’ve been very hard on her to get that text. She was away doing something that night. When she got that text, it was unbelievable what I put her and all my family through.

I remember waking up in the bed down in Waterford on the Monday: I literally told my mother and my father and my whole family that I wished I was dead, I wished I wasn’t there. That went on for another week or two after that, it kept going on.”

It kept going until the forward attempted to end his life a second time, following up on a harrowing statement of intent in front of friends and family gathered in his home kitchen.

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“I told them that, no matter what, I won’t be here in two weeks’ time. That was wicked hard for them to hear. That was going through my head at the time, I didn’t want to be there. I didn’t want to live.

“My father had battled through cancer at the time and it was really hard on him. I could see him, and (I thought) that was down to me because of the worry I’d put in to him.”

A dejected Maurice Shanahan Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

He added: “I attempted it after I left the hospital again. One evening I went for a walk and the whole of Lismore were out looking for me. They found me in time, I suppose.”

Looking back, Shanahan sees a man who believed what he was trying to do was the best for all concerned. He believed that killing himself was not an escape for himself, but a favour to a family he felt he was a hindrance to. His elder brother Dan, himself a star of Waterford hurling and now county selector, helped him set the record straight.

Dan, being my brother, locked me into the shed at home. He said stuff that really hit home. He said that if I did what I was attempting to do, ‘you’re not just going to kill yourself, you’re going to kill your parents, you’re going to kill me’.

“That really hit home that evening. It wasn’t hearing that from your own brother and the tears flowing down his eyes.”

“Dan was great to me. He was like a bodyguard and wouldn’t leave me out of his sight because he was afraid of what I’d do, my sisters as well.”

Helplines: 

Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
Console 1800 247 247 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)
Aware 1890 303 302 (depression, anxiety)
Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email mary@pieta.ie – (suicide, self-harm)
Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

Listen to the interview in full in the YouTube clip above or on WLR FM here

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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