Seamus Sherlock, 45, of Feoghanagh, Co Limerick, recently founded the Life After Debt group following the suicides of five people. Sherlock believes financial strains played a deciding factor in their deaths.
The Irish Examiner reports that Sherlock himself lost his fuel business after 20 years and finds himself struggling financially as well. He has turned to Facebook to organize his Life After Debt support group endeavor.
"There are too many people taking their own lives and it has to stop. I’m getting up to 30 phone calls a day from people who are worried about their future,” said Sherlock to the Irish Examiner. “They’re not all suicidal, but some are. I’m not a professional but a lot of these people just want someone to listen to them. A lot of people are lost."
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Sherlock went on to say that the majority of the people he comes in contact with are employed, but are just barely making ends meet, if at all. His busiest times for interaction in Life After Debt are between 7pm and 10pm, after working hours, and most people are in contact either via by mouth or Facebook.
"I know of some people who are watering down their milk, and driving their cars to work and they can’t afford to pay for car tax. These are people who have jobs but they have creditors screaming down the phone at them and they don’t know what to do."
Sherlock, who has sadly lost five friends to suicide in the past year, has organized a march for this weekend in Limerick. “I don’t intend to bury five more this year."
Most of the organizing for Life After Debt is virtual and through the group’s Facebook page. On the page, Life After Debt’s main interest is written to be “Working for a better Ireland.”
"Why do I do it? Well, why not,” said Sherlock of his selfless new endeavor. “I’m in the same boat as all these people calling me. I’m barely hanging on. I didn’t intend to be doing this, but it has snowballed through word of mouth. If anything, it helps me keep my mind of my own situation. I’m not a professional, I’m just here to listen to people.”
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