Team heads for Cape Town to help raise suicide awareness

by Sylvia Pownall
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[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]A FOOTBALL team comprising eight friends hopes to raise the profile of a suicide charity by taking part in the Five-A-Side World Cup in South Africa.

They will represent Ireland in Cape Town after raising vital funds for Suicide Awareness Dublin 15 through the annual Gerry Whelan Memorial Tournament.

The event was set up after the tragic death of Gerry Whelan in 2012 to help raise awareness and is the voluntary organisation’s main fundraiser each year.

Captain Eoghan Aspin said: “Gerry was taken from us tragically a couple of years ago and ever since his close family and friends have organised this tournament in Corduff in the Aquatic Centre.”

SAD15 was set up in 2011 by a group of parents who lost their sons to suicide and spokesperson Sue Philips said the funds raised from the Gerry Whelan Memorial event are used to pay for counselling for people in the area.

She added: “It is all voluntary work on the ground, everyone involved is voluntary, and mostly fundraising because we’re not funded by anybody.”

Team manager Brendan Murphy revealed: “We’ve been playing sport with one another for nearly 20 years, so we know each other very well.

“We’re a well-oiled unit, and we’re going to come home with the trophy.
“We’ve all probably been touched by suicide in one way or another.

“We think it’s a very important charity, and we’re happy to represent it to bring about awareness and publicity for the great cause that it is.”

Cllr Lorna Nolan, a founder member of Suicide Awareness Dublin 15, joined other local councillors in giving the lads a send-off in Blanchardstown.

She said: “Suicide Awareness Dublin 15 is the only team going to the World Cup that is representing mental health and connecting the two will raise awareness of sport for mental health.”

The team comprises manager Brendan Murphy, captain Eoghan Aspin, Mark Curtis, David Colgan, Darragh Perdisatt, Karl Walsh, Gavin Herbert, and Thomas O’Rourke.

The Irish team were drawn in Group C along with Oman, Nigeria and Bulgaria. You can follow their progress on the F5WC Facebook page.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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