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'It was a normal day, then I saw a man about to take his own life'

“For hours after I could not stop crying, I was shaking.”

SHAUNA O’RIORDAN SAVED a man’s life yesterday. The 19-year-old was on the way to work when she saw a man about to jump off a bridge in Limerick.

“The sun was shining, it was a normal day. I was just walking … and I saw a man, at that time, about to take his own life.

“Immediately I dropped everything I had and I just grabbed on to him and I reassured him that ‘This is not what you want … You have family and support out there.’”

Shauna (19) was interviewed on Tubridy today, where she recalled what happened.

“I was trying to get him down and do the best I could. I have never been in that situation in my whole entire life so I was just trying to say everything I could and there were so many things just popping into my head.”

I just think he was in such a horrible mindset … I was trying to get him to know that I was there for him even though we didn’t know one another.
He was saying ‘let me go’. At that time, his life was in my hands.

Shauna said she was “really shocked” no one helped her until she asked a woman to call the emergency services. Two “amazing” men then helped her until an ambulance arrived.


She said the man who was trying to take his own life was in his 20s, noting: “That’s what kept running through my head: ‘You have your whole life ahead of you.’ Obviously, I would never understand what he was going through.”

“Thankfully in the end everything I did worked … I really hope he gets the help and support he needs.”

I was in tears, hysterics. For hours after I could not stop crying, I was shaking.

Shauna said that people who have been affected by suicide have since contacted her to thank her for her actions.

She called on other people to be more aware of what’s going on around them and try to help if they see someone in distress.


Samaritans 116 123 or email
Console 1800 247 247 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)
Aware 1890 303 302 (depression, anxiety)
Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email – (suicide, self-harm)
Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

Read: ‘Just by being there for a friend, we can keep life itself’

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