A Kells man who has led the bid to establish a Save Our Sons And Daughters (SOSAD), suicide prevention centre in the town, has told Meath Live that the death of his best friend and long time work colleague, six years ago, has been the inspiration for his efforts.

Gavin Lynch revealed, ‘Robbie Matthews my best mate and close workmate in Wellmans international took his own life and his spirit has been the driving force behind what I have been trying to do.

‘At the time Wellmans were superb, anyone of the workforce who needed counselling was given it, and twenty of us went on a course to learn to spot the signs in people who may be contemplating suicide.

‘I’ll admit that for a good while after Robbie’s death I was beating myself up and trying to figure out if I had missed any obvious signs that he had a problem but after being reassured by his family that even they had seen no cause for concern I managed to deal with that.

‘It was with all that in mind I set up a fundraising musical event on the Fair Green here in Kells which ran for the last five Christmases and all the time we were keeping an eye out for premises we could use to set up a SOSAD branch here.’

The search for somewhere to house what will be a volunteer led group seems to have come to a satisfactory conclusion according to Gavin.

‘Older people in Kells may recall the clinic on Carrick Street where the legendary Nurse Greene operated from, well Meath County Council owns that and they have agreed we can use it.

‘Negotiations are ongoing about the nuts and bolts of it, who’ll oversee the building that sort of thing but both parties are working well together and we’d hope to open later this year.

‘Look anything we can do to help in preventing more tragedies and assisting those who have been affected by suicide will be done, it’ll be all volunteers there and hopefully we’ll be of some use.’