A Donegal woman who lost her brother tragically to suicide has plans to run wellness events on her farm and in her local community.
Donna Maskery, who farms with her husband Nick at Copany outside Donegal town – keeping a herd of pedigree Moiled cattle – has been a driving force behind Darkness into Light in the area, following the tragic loss of her brother Aaron Scott to suicide.
“My brother had a BSc honours degree in building surveying. He was a very popular young man. He was captain of our local soccer team with a reputation for helping everyone.
“In 2012 with no jobs in building surveying locally, Aaron decided to go to Canada with a close friend,” Donna told Agriland.
Looking back, she recalled that a number of things happened in the run-up to the tragic death of her brother.
One incident was that he split with his long term girlfriend.
“In September 2012, Aaron came home for Christmas. In the following weeks he wasn’t sleeping; he lost weight and had quite a low mood at times.”
He had, however, returned to work and was playing football. He went to the family doctor who prescribed sleeping tablets.
Days later, on December 4, Aaron didn’t come home for tea. “We spent the night looking for him,” said Donna.
“On December 5, we found Aaron in the lake at Lough Eske. At the time there was no Pieta House in the north-west.
I truly believe that if my brother had received the right help at the right time, he would be here today.
“Aaron was 26 when he died,” said Donna as she recalled the tragic details.
“He was having a crisis in his life and needed an intervention that wasn’t there. In 2014, I worked with an amazing group of Donegal people to bring the first Darkness into Light event to Co. Donegal.”
Darkness into Light is the main fundraiser for Pieta House. Pieta House provides a free, therapeutic approach to people who are in suicidal distress and those who engage in self-harm.
“My husband and I, together with a close friend, also completed the Dublin marathon for Pieta House,” recalled Donna.
We now have a Pieta House in the county which has plans to expand and develop its services in the north-west.
“I believe very strongly in early intervention and self-care. I hope to be involved in initiatives such as stress control training in the future.”Tags: