RUGBY star Keith Earls performed the official opening of the new headquarters of the Corbett Suicide Prevention Patrol (CSPP) at Merchants Quay.
From its foundation in 2012, members of the organisation had been keeping their equipment in a space that was little more than the size of a garden hut. However, as the group grew in size to almost 40 volunteers, it quickly outgrew the space.
Late last year, CSSP approached Limerick Civic Trust which agreed to give it space at the Potato Market to use as its headquarters.
“Thanks to funds provided by SES in Shannon, they were able to dry line, plaster, paint and put a kitchen into their new base, where they are also able to properly store their equipment. The new premises also serves as a meeting room and a space for debriefing after patrols.
Speaking at the opening of the new premises, Keith Earls, who is an ambassador for CSSP, said he is proud to support the organisation: “I was always seeing them on the bridges, and wondering what they were doing,” he said adding when Secretary Louraine Tomlinson contacted him to ask if he was interested, he “jumped at the chance.”
On a typical night, a team of three on foot, and two people on bikes to patrol Limerick’s bridges in an 8-loop.
Typically, the patrols set out at between 9pm and 1am on weeknight and between 12 midnight and 4am on weekends.
“It’s not for everyone,” said David Crowe, vice chairman, about the work the group does, noting that many people already get uncomfortable at the mention of the term ‘suicide’, but continues to say that they hope to expand their team of volunteers in the future.
Mike McNamara, CSPP liaison officer, explained that the group relies on fundraising efforts such as raffles and quiz nights, as well as donations from people and organisations. The bikes which volunteers use were donated by Frank Hogan Motors. “The bikes were vital for the patrol, they enable us to travel the route at extra speed,” he said.