Ballyfermot hosted a massive ‘festival of hope’ on September 8, organised by local community group Helping Others More Everyday (HOME).

The festival took place at Lawns Park in Ballyfermot, with over 1,000 people attending the family friendly event. HOME was set up in response to a wave of suicides in the locality, and work now to encourage people to seek support when struggling with their mental health.

Speaking about the success of the festival last weekend, local councillor Daithí Doolan (SF), who is also a member of HOME, said: “The festival was a huge success, with over 1,000 people young and old attending. We had dozens of acts from across Dublin, Ireland and beyond.

“HOME was set up 2 months ago in response to a wave of suicides in the Ballyfermot area. Since then we have been overwhelmed by the support and generosity of the public.

“The festival was about giving this community a reason to celebrate all that is good. It sends out a loud message. Suicide is not the answer. Living life is the answer. There is an alternative to suicide and there is help out there.

“The festival gave the community a big boost. Families came, remembered their loved ones lost to suicide but we also gave people a reason to dance sing and celebrate. This event will now be a permanent fixture on everyone’s calendar. HOME are already planning a bigger better one for next year.”

In addition to the success of the festival, the group also held a commemoration ceremony last Tuesday to mark International Suicide Awareness day. A short ceremony with music and a candle lit vigil took place at Ballyfermot Civic Centre.

Doolan said: “It gave people an opportunity to remember friends and family who died by suicide. It also gave our community an opportunity to support each other at this difficult time.”

For more on HOME, visit their Facebook page here.