Pieta House celebrates ten years of preventing self-harm and suicide
By Maurice Garvey
PIETA House celebrated 10 years saving lives this week with a special celebration Mass service at St Mary’s Church, reports Mauirice Garvey.
It has been a particularly poignant decade for the Ballyfermot area – which contains two Pieta House centres in Canon Troy and Mount La Salle.
After the tragic death of local man Johnathan Healy in 2006, a group of his Ballyfermot friends, including current Fianna Fáil Councillor Daithí De Róiste, Christopher Uzell, Ian O’Connor, Kevin McGarry. Robert Quigley, Stephen Crowe, met with Pieta House founder Joan Freeman.
Cllr De Roiste said: “We lost our friend in 2006 and were trying to make sense of it. Pieta House was a fledgling charity at the time. We met with Joan Freeman and it seemed like the perfect vehicle for the area.
“It’s an important service for Ballyfermot. There is a waiting list, the place is very busy, but they never turn anyone away. We do a fundraiser every year for the centre. It’s touching to see a plaque for Johnno Healy on the wall at Canon Troy.”
The centre for the prevention of self-harm or suicide opened its doors a decade ago in Lucan, and expanded their services to establish centres in Ballyfermot, Tallaght, with five further centres around the country.
Founder and former CEO Joan Freeman closed down her own counselling business in 2003 – growing the service to provide almost 180 therapists and administration staff, helping over 20,000 people in distress.
Ms Freeman paid tribute to service users, staff members and volunteers who “embraced the organisation” and “elevated it to the incredible level it has reached today.”
Pieta House Lucan is located on Lucan Road (phone 6010000), Ballyfermot is at Canon Troy House (phone 6235606), and the Tallaght centre is for the moment located also in Ballyfermot at Mount La Salle on Ballyfermot Road (phone 087 9368633 – 6200020).
A fundraiser for Pieta House will take place at the Ballyfermot Sports and Social Club on Saturday, February 13.
Tickets are €10 and can be purchased from Cllr De Roiste at 085 7246061.