“She just sat me down and she spoke to me. Not as a guard, but as a counsellor or a therapist. She got me out of the frame of mind I was in. It was scary. I was ten seconds away from just jumping in”. They were the words of a man who only identified himself as ‘Daniel’ when he spoke to Corks 96fm on Friday morning last about his intention to end his life and the intervention of a Blackrock garda who saved him from doing so.
The man, believed to be a grandfather told PJ Coogan and Deirdre O’Shaughnessy on the radio stations ‘Opinion Line’ programme about how a garda saved his life by her caring intervention. “I was in a very dark spot. I wasn’t feeling good, and I decided to walk down to the pier head and end my life. She just sat me down and she spoke to me. Not as a guard, but as a counsellor or a therapist … she got me out of the frame of mind I was in.” Daniel said.
Garda Karen Ring was on routine patrol with her colleague Garda Seán Murphy when they noticed a man close to the River Lee. Garda Ring, told the ‘Irish Examiner’; “My first thought was that he was going into the river, I called him but he just kept walking down to the slipway. I went after him and realised he was in a distressed state.”
Pic: Garda Karen Ring, Blackrock Garda Station
After speaking with the man for almost half an hour, Garda Ring asked him if he would see a doctor, to which he agreed to. The Gardai drove the distressed man to the Bridewell Garda Station where a doctor was waiting for him. The two gardaí waited until the doctor gave them a referral letter to Cork University Hospital before driving him there and made sure he was admitted for treatment.
Daniel recalled “It was scary. I was ten seconds away from just jumping in. I’m glad I didn’t, but at the time that was my frame of mind, and that’s what I was going to do” he said. He said the garda talked to him about his thoughts and feelings, until he “snapped out” of his frame of mind.
He praised the approach of Garda Ring and the commitment she had to ensuring he was taken care of, taking him to hospital and staying with him until he was there and providing her private phone number in case he needed her again. “I’m here this morning, and I’d just like to thank her,” he said. “I’m far from being better, but that’s for another day,” he said.
Chief Superintendent Michael Finn praised Garda Ring’s actions. “Our motto in the Garda Síochána is to protect life. I’m very glad that a member of the force was perceived by this person to be so caring and supportive and went out of her way to ensure he was able to keep in touch with her if he wanted,” he said.
*Source: Irish Examiner