THEREwas no shortage of competitiveness on Saturday the 24 August when the Leo O’Hanlon Sinn Féin Republican Youth Committee held a suicide awareness 5-aside football tournament in Castlewellan.
The tournament, organised with the support of PIPS sought to bring together both young and old under the banner of suicide awareness, and to raise money for such a relevant cause along the way.
Teams from as far away as Louth and Tyrone travelled to Castlewellan to take part, though the Tyrone teams performance, similar to the counties All-Ireland performance, led to them crashing out in the group stages. There was also speculation that the Assembly’s large canteen dinners had taken their toll on Chris Hazzard MLA, who could only be described as ‘sluggish’ in goals, while the late suppers at council events were also said to have had their effect on Castlewellan Councillor Stephen Burns’ under par performance reported chairperson of the local Leo O’Hanlon SFRYC. The chair Caitlín Ní Chearúlláin, said:
“Suicide, especially among young people is a major issue not just here in Down but across the whole of Ireland, and more needs to be done to raise awareness about the importance of the problem.
“As young republicans, we in Sinn Féin youth will continue to campaign on Suicide Awareness and on issues that affect young people in such a way that can lead to mental health issues. These include topics such as youth unemployment, bullying and drug and alcohol awareness.
“I want to commend PIPS and the ‘Mind your mate and yourself’ campaign for the brilliant work they are carrying out locally. None of us have to go far to find someone who has been affected in some shape or form by suicide, and groups such as PIPS do sterling work in supporting and assisting these people.”
The winners on the day were The Zonkeys who beat the Mairéad Farrell Sinn Féin Republican Youth Committee from Belfast to clinch the title in fine style.