The Irish phrase for suicide is "lámh a chur in a bás féin" or "to put hand in her own death," and it is a disturbingly familiar phenomenon one study attributes to the "social fragmentation" and economic downturn in dense urban and less populated areas of Ireland. Suicide or "féinmharú" and "self-harm" as it's put in the Hiberno-Irish expression are themes Ireland's best television program Ros na Rún confronts graphically in yesterday's broadcast.
It's not for me to psychoanalyze the character Ríona (pictured above, and played by actress Sorcha Ní Chéide). Her story has been told over ten seasons since she first appeared. In the last while, we've been watching as the murder of Ríona's husband -- the drug dealer O'Dowd -- has put her and her family under Garda investigation and stigmatized little Sophie, whom Ríona fears will always be haunted by her father's reputation.
Tadhg and Frances are married in this episode found at TG4.tv under the Dráma Cartlann and labeled Ros na Rún - 28/1/10. The wedding vows are worth watching the episode alone. At "the after" friends gather for speeches, including the shy one Tadhg gives, with the reference to Henry VIII, a particularly frightening reference considering what Mícheál has to tell us.
Mícheál had to decide whether or not to stop the wedding, because he was awaking to the memory of having had his head beat in with an iron bar after a road accident where Tadhg had been drunk driving and wanted to avoid jail by killing off his injured victim. Feeling isolated in his late-come memory, Mícheál must stand back and allow the wedding to happen, with serious warning to Tadhg.
Tadhg's son Jason gives the toast of the night, in praise of his father's new wife, indicating the wedding is a kind of slate cleaning for the rough feelings between father and son over the years.
And it is Jason who must discover what his dear friend Ríona -- made unwelcome at the wedding by Tadhg it will be remembered -- has done with her own hand.
Notice also how the Dubs are speaking Irish now after being in town for a while. It's smoother, and easier, just like yours will be if you watch the show.
We must tune in on Tuesday next to learn outcomes of these awful, but true to life, turns.