An Irish politician has been inundated with pleas for help after his 24-year-old son took his own life.

Fine Gael councillor Peter Roche has revealed he has been inundated with calls from people contemplating suicide.

The Irish Independent
reports that Roche told a World Suicide Prevention Day Conference in Dublin that he receives weekly calls from desperate people.

He is now liaising with suicide bereavement and prevention agency Console to help those who contact him.

Roche said: “I think a lot of people prefer to make the personal contact because they feel better understood or something.

“Dozens have contacted me, and it’s good to know you can make a difference to people’s lives. Not many weeks go by when I wouldn’t have one or two making direct contact with me.”

The Dublin conference was scheduled ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on Monday.

Roche told delegates that it is important for him and his family to speak about their own tragic loss.

He said: “It can be pretty difficult to accept that we didn’t take the opportunity to talk to Colin about this, but it’s nice to know we’re making a difference to somebody else. I see it as a tribute to my son.

“We get inspiration from Colin. I do this because I know it is working. It would be useless and selfish of us to just deal with our own loss. We can help others.”

The report says that Colin took his own life in a shed behind the family home in Galway in November 2010.

He had phoned his older brother, Alan minutes before to say he was sorry for what he was about to do and express his love for his family.

The paper says Alan immediately contacted his parents, who were at home at the time but by the time his father had rushed to the shed, Colin was dead.

Dad Peter said: “We were a regular family with four sons, all busy and successful. All of a sudden our lives were turned upside down.

“While we try to remain positive we are still struggling to come to terms with our terrible loss.

“We have a family wedding this weekend and those occasions are horrendously difficult. But the drive to keep going and help others comes from Colin.”

Peter Roche with a picture of his son Colin