City businesses come up trumps for suicide volunteers

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THE Limerick Post came to the rescue of the Corbett Suicide Prevention Patrol (CSPP) last week after the newspaper issued an appeal for bicycles to help the volunteers operate their nightly patrols along the Shannon river.

The Limerick group patrols the Shannon riverbanks at the weekends and last week they asked The Limerick Post and Live 95FM to issue an appeal for local businesses to sponsor bicycles for them so they can cover more ground at night.

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Within 24-hours, they had an overwhelming response to the appeal.

Frank Hogan Motors on the Dublin Road donated four bicycles; Tribikes in Raheen donated another two; Auto Exchange on the Dock Road made a cash donation for the price of a bicycle, Pro-Image on the Ballysimon Road donated signage for the bicycles and Fran O’Donnell at Futureama Productions donated a defribillator.

“I’m very humbled by the response we’ve had from the business community and the ordinary people of Limerick since this appeal went out,” said CSPP volunteer Paul Hogan.

“We’ve achieved more in the last 24 hours than we’ve achieved all year. It’s been a very good day and it just goes to show you the power of the media. We are very grateful for all the support we’ve gotten so far. The people of Limerick have really gotten behind us and we’ve been very moved by the generosity of local people and businesses. It’s incredible,” said the gobsmacked CSPP spokesman.

Meanwhile, this Tuesday evening, over 50 people attended CSPP’s volunteer open night at Clohessy’s Bar on Howley’s Quay. Mr Hogan said it was the biggest turn out the patrol group has seen since setting up a year ago.

“We are delighted to see so many people wanting to volunteer with us. This however, won’t be for everyone and that’s okay because there is other ways you can lend your support like fundraising. We come across incidents on the river that you have to be very mentally strong for, incidents that will affect you when you go home at night,” said Mr Hogan.

“We have a saying in our group that it’s okay not to be okay and members of our team have been so affected by what they have seen at night on patrol that they have suffered post traumatic stress. We would be more concerned if they weren’t affected by what they see, so you have to ask yourself how you would feel if someone who has entered the river won’t take the flotilla you are throwing them to save their lives. You have to ask yourself how you would feel when they throw their arms up in the air to show they want to give up,” he concluded.

Anyone interested in in the work of the volunteers can follow them on the CSPP facebook site.