Priest tells 15 year old’s funeral that suicide is never a solution

first_img Twitter WhatsApp Priest tells 15 year old’s funeral that suicide is never a solution News Dail to vote later on extending emergency Covid powers Google+ PSNI and Gardai urged to investigate Adams’ claims he sheltered on-the-run suspect in Donegal HSE warns of ‘widespread cancellations’ of appointments next week Pinterest This is the full text of Fr John Joe Duffy’s homily at the Funeral Mass this morning – WhatsApp Pinterest The funeral mass of 15 year old Shannon Gallagher has been told that suicide is never a solution.center_img As we gather this morning to celebrate this funeral Mass for Shannon,we are reminded of the stable of Bethlehem by the presence of the cribin this church. The stable of Bethlehem into which was born aprecious, mush loved, venerable and fragile child. A child firstwelcomed by poor shepherds who lived on the margins of Bethlehem andof society. They received from Joseph and Mary, a warm welcome intothe space of that tenderness and love, into that home of hospitality.We are invited to enter into that space this morning, and we areinvited to receive  from the Christ Child that same hope and peace,that the Shepherds first received on that night in the hills ofBethlehem. Jesus wants us this morning to know his presence in ourlives, his tender love, care and compassion.When we think of Shannon, we also think of the river Shannon, a namethat they both share. Rivers by their nature are naturally beautiful,magical, mystic, peaceful, tranquil and eternally flowing. These aretraits that we all yearn for in life, each one of us yearn for them.At times for whatever reason, very often it is only God alone thatknows why we somehow fail to realise these traits in our lives andtherefore are left without that Hope, Joy and Peace, which Jesusdesires for us in each one of our lives. It is for these qualities andtraits that I pray we all may experience in our lives and in ourcoming to terms with Shannons passing from this life to life eternalin Heaven.None of us wanted and none of us expected to find ourselves back inthis church today to be once again praying this Mass for a 15 year oldchild Shannon so soon after the death of 13 year old sister Erin. Itwas only a few weeks ago that Shannon read so well at the Months MindMass for her sister.We are numb and in such a state of shock and unrealness, totaldisbelief that for the second time within 2 months that Lorraine andthe Gallagher family are having to face the desperate pain and deepanguish of losing such a beautiful child in the most tragic ofcircumstances. This community are deeply sorry for your heartache andwe are at a loss. So many have asked the question over the last fewdays, how could such a tragedy happen again within 2 months. Thiscommunity has being praying for you and dearly wish this was nothappening for you again. They wish to support you and to reach out toyou and your family.I said at Erins funeral Mass, that no mother in this country shouldever have to experience the acute pain and suffering that you weregoing through in those days. That was also your wish Lorraine. But itis most regrettable that you find yourself once again and so soon inthis most tragic situation this morning. That must be so unbearablefor you and our hearts go out to you. I don’t not know of any wordsthat will help you.  Jesus desires as do all of uswish  to console youand give you peace and hope. It is Jesus words that i give you thismorning that Jesus has prepared a place in that same room for Shannonwith Erin in Heaven for all eternity. Shannon loved you and her desireat Erins wake was for you and her little brother to be ok. That iswhat she would want for you this morning.Shannon was a much loved girl. She was very precious to you her familyand friends. She had a particularly close bond to her sister Erin.They spent so much time together and were such close sisters. Shannonwould help Erin with so many things including homework. Erins deathnaturally caused her great sadness and pain.Shannon was a welled liked and highly thought of girl in thiscommunity. Her friends have spoke of her so affectionately and in suchglowing terms to me. These last few days have being difficult for you.In school, Shannon focused herself completely where she was achievingvery well. Recently she achieved an excellent result in her Irishexam. She was very much supported and cared for by her teachers.Shannon was an accomplished sportsperson.Shannon won several sportsawards at her school and she won the overall sports award in her firstyear at school.  She as an excellent Irish dancer also. It was thenonto football where she showed great ability on the field in bothsoccer and Gaelic, being a member of the county girls underage team.She gave up ruby because she thought it was too hard she  to take upwhat she considered the easier option of boxing. Boxing was a passionfor her and she won titles both county and ulster titles. She was adedicated person to her beloved Twin Towns boxing club and was veryinvolved and so enjoyed being part of the club.Shannon acquired such a huge circle of friends many of them throughsporting involvement and achievement. This is the Shannon that willfondly be remembered by so many of her friends and school mates whothought so much of her.Loss of a friend at any stage of life is very difficult but when oneis so young that loss is all the more difficult and sad. This hasbeing a trying time for you.The pain you are experiencing now will bedifferent for each one of you. You may ask questions could you havehelped her in a different way. The answer is simply No. You dideverything you could possibly do for Shannon. You comforted her in somany ways.While in life you all face many pressures today and sometimes you mayfeel that no one understands you or cares about you. If you feel thatyou have little hope of things improving for you, or that you havethought of or self harmed in any way or thought about suicide . Thenplease please TALK TO SOMEONE. I do not know of anyone who can readour minds: parents, teachers and friends may think they know what isgoing on, but they can’t really know unless you tell them. Talkingabout  something  will not make it happen. It will help for a problemshared is a problem halved.Do not bottle your feelings up. Talking about them will not increasethe hurt but a burden shared becomes lighter. In fact, this adviceapplies to everyone, no matter what age you are – share your feelingsand do not let them eat you alive. There are people who care andpeople who can help. Shannon’ s death is a great shock for you. As isaid before, you may feel overwhelmed by your feelings, which willpossibly be one or many. On the other hand, you may not have a strongreaction to what has happened. No two of us feel the same. It is okayto ask questions, such as, Why? Be patient with yourselves and allowyourselves to grieve. Don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings withparents, teachers, to your doctor, to the people in your clubs, tothose professionals helping out in your schools at this time, to me orone  your own priests. I am asking you as young people to continue tocare for one another, to be kind to one another, to be there for oneanother — support each other. Call the different organisations: HSEHelpline               , Now Doc, or Childline, Samaritans,, the gardaí, there are cards in the Church entrances forDonegal Links and the church notice boards have helpline Nos.I am saying to everyone here today that suicide is an unnecessarysolution to the problems and trials of life. These problems that weface are only temporary and they do ease and pass away with help andin time. Suicide takes place around one grief to add even furthergrief for family and friends and whole communities. Suicide is never asolution.To parents, teachers and those who work with young people in ourcommunity,  I know that you are available and will continue to beAVAILABLE TO TALK WITH AND LISTEN TO YOUR CHILDREN as you always are.Remember though that it is not always possible to know the deeplyhidden problems carried by some of our young people. You want what isbest for them and you do your very best for them. I also ask parentsto familiarise yourselves with and use the help that is available andthe services that are in our community.My re collection of 6 weeks ago when we were last gathered here atErins funeral was that I asked that this day should never dawn foranother mother in this country ever again.That day 6 weeks ago on the31st Oct, should have being a dawn for change in our country, a newbeginning, when agencies, support groups, professionals and thosecharged with the care of children should have realised that the courseand the path that they were on, in responding too and dealing withthese issues was neither effective or responsive enough to dealadequately enough with this ongoing problem throughout Irish society.But sadly Society which failed a 13 year old child Erin Gallager onthe 27th October 2012, within 2 moths has once again in the samefamily, for the second time failed her 15 year old sister ShannonGallagher. Society has failed two children, two sisters within 2months and that is a most  damning indictment for any societyevidenced by the second white coffin that is before this Altar within2 short months, 45 days ago to be exact.My heart is devastated, my heart is shattered at how poorly weunderstand the issues concerning youth mental health and mental healthissues in the general population in Ireland. And the terribleconsequences we see occurring and re occurring on a regular basisthough out the country.The systems and methodologies in place and used by the HSE and otheragencies and professionals dealing with these cases simply does notwork. We are failing to protect the most  fragile and most vulnerablechildren in our society.We are failing to to bring in the children, young people and mostvulnerable adults on the margins of our society to the safety of thecentre where they ought to find support, comfort, and safety.The systems and approach need to be radically improved, to becompletely overhauled and to be more responsive so that they have arelevance and are fit for purpose in the modern world.Hiding behind professionalism and qualifications or the inertia ofbeing able to change rules, legislation or regulations is simply notacceptable, when so many lives getting younger have being tragicallyand needlessly lost.I am now calling upon someone in Government to take a hands on roleand to do what it takes. Whatever that is to combat what is the themost serious problem affecting our country and so many of our familiesand communities with such devastating consequences.The time for talking is over. For the sake of all people on themargins or in similar circumstances, for the love of God let some oneperson in Government take leadership and reform what is clearly abroken system.Shannons family wish to thank the Twin Towns Boxing Club for theirtremendous support of Shannon. Lorriane is most greatfull to each andeveryone of you for the care and loving support you gave to Shannon. Iwant to also pay tribute to the club, to all sporting organisations,to all other groups and organisations, to the teachers and staff ofthe Finn Valley College, St. Columbas, St Marys and Dooish schools forthe excellent support and care that you give to all the children andyoung people of this community. You are a credit and inspiration. Youare the hope for our youth through involvement in various activitiesand events and furthering their education. I encourage you and laudyou to continue with the excellent work you do. Every hour you spendin helping children and young people is the most worthwhile work youwill ever do. Thank you. In a special way I want to thank the Boxingclub and the staff of the Finn Valley college the excellent care andsupport you showed to Shannon. I want to thanks all who cared for herin any way.The star over Bethlehem shone brightly showing that Jesus who came tobring us Peace, Hope and Joy is present to everyone of us. Shannon andErin are with Jesus in Heaven experiencing the fullness of that Joyand Peace. Jesus is taking care of them.Shannon and Erin would wish that Hope and Peace for all of you heretoday. They would tell you that life is precious and it is worthliving it. They would want you experience  Hope, Peace and Joy in yourown lives as you go about your daily lives. Maybe you should all taketime to get involved in some leisure activity, clubs or groups ororganisations, planet youth and so on. Shannon got great satisfactionout of sport. Sport, drama, music help us to have active and healthylives. Get involved with others in clubs and organisations to build uppositive friendships.Finally I ask you to give some space in your lives for Jesus in yourlives. Pray to him, talk to him as you would to me or anyone else.Listen to him in the stillness and quiet. God loves everyone of uswith an immense love. We are precious to him. He came among us as avulnerable and fragile baby born on the margins of Bethlehem to showus that he understands us in our fragility and brokenness, that hewants to reach out to us and help us overcome the troubles that weface in our lives. And yes we can overcome the things that trouble usand working together as a people, we will overcome these things. Atthis time of  Advent, I ask you to open to hearts to Jesus so that hemay dwell in them and flood them with his love ,joy, peace and hope.Fill your minds with noble and positive thoughts, use your voices tospeak words of love and peace, so that others may be filled with joyand Hope. Use your hands to reach out to others with the love of Jesusto make this world a better place. Unite your pain with Jesus to bringmany blessings into your own life and that of the world that we livein. Dail hears questions over design, funding and operation of Mica redress scheme Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Facebook By News Highland – December 15, 2012 Man arrested in Derry on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences released Google+ Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Previous articleDonegal man cleared on charge of dangerous driving causing deathNext articleFarmers protest outside Joe Mc Hugh’s office News Highland last_img read more