A Longford family has raised €42,350 for suicide bereavement charity HUGG (Healing Untold Grief Groups).
In June of this year, the O’Hara family John, Johanna O’Hara and their two sons Oisín and Liam arranged a fundraising walk in memory of their eldest son Niall who died by suicide in March 2019, aged 20.
The walk followed the route from his home in Muckerstaff, Longford to Maynooth University, where Niall was an Arts student within both the Geography and Computer Science Department.
According to Johanna, “It is an experience will never forget. An opportunity to reconnect, have conversations, even difficult ones, made easier whilst surrounded by nature.”
She added, “There were lots of tears – some of sadness but also many tears of joy. In the words of our good friend Ryan Tubridy, who very kindly joined us one of the days ‘your walk is everything Covid wasn’t, human connection and big warm hugs'.”
Johanna went on to explain why they chose to donate to HUGG.
“HUGG has been our lifeline. We attend a HUGG group and have found healing in just being among others who understand our pain, those travelling the same reluctant road. The grief of losing Niall is not something that will magically go away. We are steadily learning to carry it. It is not easy, but HUGG is helping us.”
Fiona Tuomey, Founder and CEO of HUGG, said, "This is an incredible donation to us from the O’Hara family. We feel truly honoured to accept this fiunding of €42,350.”
Ms Tuomey added, “This will help us to continue to provide free HUGG support groups nationwide.
“While we cannot ‘fix’ anyones’ grief after suicide, we know that HUGG groups provide hope and eventually some healing."