Mental health rally held at symbolic Wexford Bridge
Wexford Bridge was the symbolic location at the weekend of a public protest against the underfunding and understaffing of mental health services in the county.
The bridge, which has been the scene of many suicides in the past, is now patrolled nightly by MarineWatch, a voluntary organisation which has succeeded in reducing the number of tragic incidents.
Saturday's protest was organised by the Wexford Fight for Acute 24-Hour Mental Health Services Campaign established by Colette Nolan, Cllr David Hynes, Orla Curtin and Tanya Fenlon.
Colette Nolan, whose brother Tom took his own life in July 2013 the day after being allowed to return home from the Accident and Emergency department in Wexford General Hospital, where he had undergone a suicide risk assessment, said it was a dignified and poignant event allowing people to remember those lost through suicide and a chance for the bereaved to voice concern.
'It's an absolute disgrace that Waterford has an amalgamated service for Wexford when Wexford has a bigger population by more than 30,000,' she said.
Among the attendance were TD James Browne and councillors David Hynes, Anthony Kelly, Johnny Mythen, Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin and Deirdre Wadding. Deputy Mick Wallace sent his apologies.
'We're not going away. We're going to continue this fight,' said Colette, adding that the Government's promise to restore €12m to the national mental health budget would have to be seen to be believed. 'We need to keep the pressure up to ensure we get improvements.'