A FERMANAGH family have unveiled a memorial bench in memory of their son who died by suicide in 2019.

The Breadon family from Magheraveely unveiled the bench on June 26 to mark the 21st birthday of Ryan Breadon, who died on August 31, 2019.

The bench is located at the Magheraveely Sunshine Cabin, with his family emphasising that the meorial bench is for anyone and everyone in the community, and can be used as a place of reflection.

Ryan’s mother, Heather, paid tribute to her son, saying: “Ryan was a quiet boy and he loved going out with his friends and was very interested in cars. He also has a wee son, Corey, who's now three.”

On the devastation caused by suicide, she said: “The first year after it happened, we were in denial that it actually happened. On the first anniversary, it just hit you that he wasn’t coming back. It is very difficult.”

Ryan’s family hope that this bench, and speaking out about suicide and mental health, may help others.

Heather said: “His two cousins, Michelle Gilmore and Wendy Crawford, raised money for this bench in 2019 by taking part in craft fairs to raise money.”

The pandemic had an impact on the placement of the bench, as it was not safe to meet to place it until recently. Instead, the family waited until Ryan’s 21st birthday to place it, and gathered to remember him.

If you are in crisis or distress and need to talk to someone, you can call the free, 24/7, Lifeline at 0808 808 8000; The Samaritans at 116 123; or alternatively, e-mail jo@samaritans.org.

Enniskillen-based Aisling Centre also offers a free, confidential, and professional counselling and psychotherapy service. They can be contacted at 028 6632 5811.