The grandson of Tipperary-born John Moylan, a longtime member of the board of the directors of the Golden Gate district and advocate who helped implement suicide barriers, jumped to his death from the iconic San Francisco bridge.
Sean Moylan (27) took his own life on Thursday, June 5. It is the second time the young man, from Novato, in the North Bay, had attempted suicide.
On average 24 people per annum attempt to commit suicide by jumping from the bridge. Another 80 are talked down. In total, more than 1,500 people have jumped from the 220 foot high bridge since it opened in 1937.
In 2008 John Moylan (85) was a member of the board of directors who decided to install suicide barriers on the bridge in a bid to do something about the numbers of jumpers every year. Later this month another meeting is scheduled to discuss installing $68 million suicide nets below the bridge.
Moylan has also lost a grandnephew to suicide. This had speared on his long campaign for barriers.
The grieving grandfather said the incident has been “heartbreaking.”
However, he refused to blame the Golden Gate Bridge or its barriers for his grandson’s suicide.
He told the Marin Independent Journal, “The poor kid was a very troubled young man.”
“He was generous and good-natured, but he just had that demon in there.
“There is no blame in this at all. It's not the bridge's fault; it's not anybody's fault.
“It's just that he was a very troubled young man. He had a problem and that's it.”
In February 2014 his grandson Sean had stepped in front of a commercial truck on a highway in Oregon. Police initially said he was out walking his dog near the town of Eugene. However, it later emerged that he had let go of his dog’s leash before stepping into the road.
He was critically injured but made a good recovery.
His grandfather John had lunch with him last Sunday.
He said, “My niece was here from Ireland and he was laughing and talking with the kids.
“Everything was fine.”
Although Moylan said his grandson’s death will play on his mind when the board discusses the $68 million proposed nets on June 29, he also said, “That’s not going to stop suicide.
“Suicide is an epidemic in this country.
“Sean will be thought about at the next board meeting, that's for sure, and all the others.
“But we can't lay it on the bridge.”