Charity night in memory of Carrick man Stephen

Stephen Donohoe (left) during a skydive in Australia.  INCT 21-727-CON
Stephen Donohoe (left) during a skydive in Australia. INCT 21-727-CON

A young Carrick man who sadly lost his life to suicide is to be remembered at an event in the Knockagh Lodge next weekend.

The charity evening has been organised by the family of Stephen Donohoe, who passed away earlier this year in Darwin, Australia.

The evening aims to honour the 30-year-old’s memory while raising awareness and valuable funds for suicide prevention charity Lighthouse.

Stephen’s mother Sharon explained: “Stephen had always wanted to go to Australia; he had been living out there for two years and was working as a foreman for a joinery company.

“He had actually applied for citizenship and was going to visit home in June.”

The tragedy was the second to hit the family after Sharon lost her husband, Pat to suicide in 2010.

“Stephen struggled to cope with losing his dad and he felt very much on his own,” Sharon said.

“He died in January out in Australia and he was actually cremated there, so we wanted to do something here to remember him that his family and friends could be involved in.”

The evening will include a charity raffle, buffet supper and entertainment from local DJs Aaron Elliot, William Mogey and Ashley MacNeice, who were all school friends of Stephen.

The event will also be supported by Carrick woman Sami Cullen, a prominent suicide awareness campaigner.

“My daughter Lauren is putting together a video about Stephen as well that hopefully will be shown at the start of the night and maybe a few words will be spoken,” said Sharon.

“Knockagh Lodge have really been exceptional while we’ve been organising the night.”

“There have been lots of donations from nearly all the businesses in Carrick town centre for the raffle as well.

“I have a barber’s in the town centre myself so a lot of people remember Stephen when he was a wee boy running in and out of their shops.

Sharon added: “Everybody has great memories of Stephen. There is a photo we have of him skydiving in Australia that just perfectly sums up his personality; daredevil wouldn’t even have been the word for it! Even though he was only 30, it’s hard to sum up his life.

“We didn’t want the night at the Knockagh Lodge to be morbid but more of a celebration in Stephen’s memory, and to give people a chance to say goodbye to him.

“We just want to raise a bit of awareness about it too; suicide has hit my house twice and it’s a very common problem.”

The charity evening will take place from 8pm - 12am next Saturday night (May 31).

Tickets cost £10 and are available from Sharon’s Barber Shop on Lancasterian Street, Knockagh Lodge or 57 Henly Road.

Tickets can also be purchased on the evening at the door.