The River Angels: Limerick’s suicide prevention river patrol groups

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Limerick city has had the highest suicide rates in Ireland (by three-year moving average per 100,000 people) consistently between 2010 and 2016 and again between 2017 and 2021.

What that means in literal terms is that almost every year for the past decade, Limerick has seen more deaths by suicide than any other county in Ireland.

In the wake of these stark facts, two groups decked in neon appeared by the riverside in Limerick city, walking the waterways nightly to give aid to those contemplating ending their lives by suicide.

On the course of their nightly patrols, these groups perform ‘interventions’ with people in distress by the riverside – providing a listening ear and an important offer of hope to those who need it, sometimes alerting emergency services in more urgent cases.

Limerick Post news editor and award-winning journalist Adam Leahy took to the streets with these groups, Limerick Suicide Watch and Limerick Treaty Suicide Prevention, to help understand why patrol members do what they do and what keeps them motivated to walk Limerick’s waterways 365 nights a year searching for those in need of help.

This Limerick Post radio documentary tells their story.

More information on the groups featured in this documentary can be found on:

Limerick Treaty Suicide Prevention

Facebook: TreatySuicidePrevention

Twitter: LTSP_Suicide

Instagram: TreatySuicidePrevention

Donations can be made via iDonate.ie.

Limerick Suicide Watch

Website: LimerickSuicideWatch.ie

Facebook: LimerickSuicideWatch

Twitter: LimerickSuicid2

Instagram: LimerickSuicideWatch

Donations can be made via iDonate.ie.

Produced, written, and recorded by: Adam Leahy (Twitter: @a_leahy)

Anyone who may be experiencing negative thoughts and emotions, who may be feeling at risk or needing to talk, or may be having feelings of suicidal ideation – as well as families and friends bereaved by suicide – can speak to qualified therapists at Pieta 24/7 on 1800 247 247 or by texting help to 51444. The Samaritans helpline is also open on 116 123.