15 April 2016
ICSA rural chairman Seamus Sherlock spoke last night (April 14) to a large gathering at a Rural Isolation and Mental Health in Farming meeting held in Carrigaholt, Co. Clare. Speaking after the event Mr Sherlock said “Rural Ireland is going through a very tough time at the moment, for a number of reasons, and it is events like these that can absolutely help revitalise rural communities.”
The event was organised by An Garda Siochana, in particular Garda Adrian Cosgrove from Kilkee Garda Station and was the fourth in a series of meetings to be held in Clare highlighting the issues of rural isolation and mental health in farming. Previous events have taken place in Kildysart, Kilrush and Kilkee.
Mr Sherlock has become an advocate of promoting mental health and wellbeing in farming and understands well the pressures that people living in rural communities can be under. “Unfortunately, I have heard far too many stories from good people who at their wits end due to severe financial and other pressures. At ICSA we do our utmost to assist in any way possible. I would urge people in difficulty to look for some support. People in rural Ireland do not have to feel like they are alone, there is always a solution to any problem.”
Also speaking on the night was Clare Divisional Crime Prevention Officer Sgt Joe Downey, Teagasc Health and Safety advisor Tom Gleeson and Pat Fitzgerald from MyMind Centre for Mental Wellbeing. Closing the meeting Superintendent Martin McGonnell implored those in attendance to ring their local Garda station if they are feeling low and speak to a guard or indeed to drop in to a Garda station where you will be treated in confidence and privacy and the appropriate help will be sought for you.