The family of a county Mayo man who took his own life last May issued a heartfelt public appeal yesterday for anybody with suicidal thoughts to seek assistance.At an inquest in Castlebar into the death of Martin McHale, Murrisk, Westport, his family, through their solicitor, Myles Staunton, delivered a statement putting on record their desire that anybody with personal problems should not keep them hidden as they said “there is help our there”.
Martin’s family listed the family GP, Pieta House, the Family Centre, Castlebar, or the 24- hour helpline run by the Samaritans- 116 123 as ‘trusted’ individuals and agencies who could assist if contacted.
The statement described the late Martin as “a man of many parts, a bus driver, a tour guide, a mechanic, a person who was interested in the environment, a hard worker who was interested in fitness, especially cycling and running.
He was good humoured and we never suspected that he was suicidal. He is missed every hour of the day by family and friends”, the statement continued.
The family added that if their loved one’s death prevented even one suicide and spared one family the grief they are enduring since his death, they felt their statement would be worthwhile.
Mr. McHale was found dead in the rear of one of his buses by a son, John, on May 14 last. A gardening strimmer was on the floor nearby.
Dr. Tamas Nemeth, a consultant pathologist, said death was due to asphyxia due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
The coroner, Patrick O’Connor, returned a verdict of self-inflicted homicide.
Mr. O’Connor said the family had to be commended for what he described as a noble and caring gesture in making their public statement in the hope that the lives of others contemplating suicide in the future might be saved.