May 2, 2007

Drogheda Leader  FLOTILLA OF HOPE PATRICK REILLY Date: Wednesday, May 2, 2007 Page: 4 Extract: 1 of 1 Circulation: 24.500 Author: PATRICK REILLY • 2,300 miniature boats to be launched on Boyne to highlight number of suicides in Ireland BY PATRICK REILLY OVER 2,000 mini boats will be launched simultane- ously down the Boyne to highlight how many suicides have occurred in Ireland since 2002. Peter Moroney of sui- cide awareness website SOSAD Ireland is making the powerful statement as a protest against the cur- rent Government. He believes the powers that be are not taking the tragic issue of suicide seriously enough. "Since the present Government came to power close to 2,300 peo- ple have died by suicide. We want to publicly remember all those who have died and to send a clear message out to the Government that a lot more has to be done to tackle this terrible tragedy that claims hundreds of lives every year," Peter told the Drogheda Leader. Peter knows only too well the trauma of losing a loved one to suicide. His son Simon took his own life four years ago this month. The Rowan Heights family are planning to sail 2,300 mini boats down the Boyne on Friday 18th May – only a few days before the general elec- tion. "Our hope is that see- ing these thousands of boats will send a powerful message out to everybody. We are sending invites out to all the town's priests, bishops and emergency services to attend. We hope to have prayers said in memory of all those who died in this tragic way." "I also believe that this will send a powerful mes- sage to the Government, HSE and everybody else that more should be done to tackle this tragedy. We all have a pat to play, whether we know it or not," said Peter. Since losing his son in 2003 Peter and his family have dedicated themselves to highlighting suicide. Recently they launched the SOSAD Ireland web- site which has been receiving thousands of hits. On the day of the protest the Moroney's aim to have politicians, priests and emergency services there in attendance. Local band the Ventilin Pimps have already announced they will play a free gig and the family hope the Drogheda public will show their support. As well as the demon- stration the Moroney's have a petition which they will present to the new Government after they come into power. Vbu can sign the petition online be logging onto image