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22/09/2021

444 deaths, 444 pairs of shoes - Derry mother needs your help to highlight the devastation of suicide in the city this weekend

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A Derry mother who lost her son to suicide in 2005 is asking for the public’s help in highlighting suicide awareness in the city, and she needs your shoes to do it. Lorraine Curran, a paediatric nurse in Altnagelvin Hospital, lost her son Mark McCann 13 years ago, just two years before his close friend, Conor Carlyle, also took his own life. Since Mark’s death, there have been 444 suicides in Derry, and it is that number which Lorraine is hoping to highlight this Saturday as the ‘Nadger and Conor Memorial Cup’ returns to Ballymagroarty. Lorraine is hoping to place 444 pairs of shoes, one to present each victim of suicide, around the football pitch in Ballymagroarty, to help paint a stark picture of a problem which has devastated the city in recent years. She explained: “The forum is excellent because it’s all young men who will be there,” she said. “There have been 444 suicides since Mark died up until 2016 so what I wanted to do is ask for 444 pairs of shoes to symbolise each death. “My hope is to put them around the pitch before the game starts, just depending on how many we get, just to highlight the significance of how many have actually died.” Anyone wishing to donate shoes to the event is asked to leave them at Ballymagroarty Community Centre. The ‘Nadger and Conor Memorial Cup’ will kick off at 1pm on Saturday for those wishing to attend.

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