People's day

By Aideen O'Flaherty

OVER 2,000 people went to the inaugural People’s Day event in Le Fanu Park in Ballyfermot on Sunday, where attendees were treated to live music, face painting and displays from the emergency services, with the event organiser calling it an event filled with “life, love and celebration”.

Warren Dempsey (30) organised the event to help tackle the issues with mental health in Ballyfermot, after he lost his sister Andrea (22) to suicide earlier this year and a number of other young women in the area have taken their own lives in recent months.

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Amanda and Karen at the People’s Day

Since his sister’s passing, Warren has set up a new mental health support group called HOME (Helping Others More Everyday) with other Ballyfermot locals who are determined to create more avenues of help and assistance for people in the area who are struggling with their mental health.

At present, Warren has been instrumental in setting up a support group every Thursday in the Ballyfermot Civic Centre at 8pm, where there are trained people who can help if someone has a mental health crisis or needs a listening ear.

The idea for the People’s Day was devised as a celebratory event and a way to bring the community together, and there were trained people from HOME on-site for anyone who needed assistance.

Warren told The Echo: “It was absolutely fantastic. The image we wanted to relay was one of life, love and celebration, and celebrating all that life has to offer.

“Over 50 acts from all over the country performed, and there was face painting, and displays from the army, the local fire brigade and the guards.

“Over 2,000 people came, and over 50 per cent of them were children and young people, and we’re hoping that this will help protect the next generation [if they have mental health difficulties].

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Doyle/Halpin School of Irish Dancing Lower Cherry Orchard / Inchicore

“Every house and door in Ballyfermot has been knocked on by suicide.”

The X Factor’s Mary Byrne was also at the event, as was YouTuber Fabu-D, and Warren said he feels that his sister Andrea is looking down on him, and would’ve been happy to see what he has done.

“I genuinely believe that she’s looking down on us and beaming,” he said, “that she’s looking down and shining bright. Her name will live on.”

Looking ahead, Warren is planning to hold the People’s Day event again next year where he says it will be “bigger and better”.

He also wanted to thank Dr Siobhan O’Reilly and Ciara from FamiliBase for their help with this year’s event.

For anyone affected by issues raised in this article, help is available at Samaritans 116 123 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety); Pieta House 1800 247 247 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (suicide, self-harm); Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19) and Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s).

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