An Irish rapper has told a television documentary how he staged his own funeral in a bid to beat depression.

Artist Wally O’Loughlin makes the shocking admission on the programme produced by Irish state broadcaster RTE.

He enlisted the help of his local church in Portlaoise and invited friends and family to the ‘farewell’.

The 31-year-old took the bizarre decision after attempting to take his own life four years ago.

A reformed drink and drugs addict, Wally revealed how he played out what could have happened after his attempt to take his own life in a bid to raise awareness of suicide.

O’Loughlin told the Irish Sun: “I got permission from the local Church to stage my own funeral.

“I was laid out in the coffin and got my family and friends to stand around it.

“It was to highlight the stigma surrounding depression and suicide. When I actually saw what could have happened it really hit home to me.

“For years, I had denied how I was feeling. As a rapper, I had an image to keep up. People don’t take depression seriously.

“When I finally approached a doctor and told him I was depressed, he said: ‘Don’t be stupid - what would you have to be depressed about?’

“Now I know I have depression - but I’ve learned how to manage it.”

Now 31 and a proud father to his year old son Kieran, O’Loughlin reveals in the documentary how he tried to take his own life on the day after Michael Jackson’s death.

He added: “The day after Michael Jackson died in 2009, I had a suicide attempt.

“At the time, I was going through depression. Then one day, I had an argument with my brother and it just all came to a head.

“I left the house and went to a nearby graveyard with a razor blade and attempted to slit my wrist.

“Just when the blade touched my skin, I looked up and saw a mother and daughter leaving the graveyard and said to myself: ‘What am I doing?’

“So I put the blade down, walked into the local Garda (police) station and asked for help.”

The musician hopes his documentary can raise suicide awareness across Ireland.

Speaking ahead of the programme’s broadcast, he said: “One moment can change anyone’s life.

“If I had followed through on that day and cut the horizontal line on my wrist then I wouldn’t be where I am today.

“The message I want to get out there in the documentary is that there is help out there.

“Becoming a dad stopped me self-prioritising for once. I put my son Kieran first now - he needs a role model.”