Founder of Lisheens House, Noreen Murphy.

Lisheens House building a stronger, better future

By Ray Lucey

Noreen Murphy's story began in 2007 when her then 39 year old husband Donal and father of her children took his life.

He was a hard working family man who appeared to have everything but had been fighting a daily battle with depression. He was in an especially bad state for the previous two years. Sadly, Donal lost that battle on 9 September 2007 leaving behind her family in pure devastation.

Her life was once again turned upside down when tragedy struck in December 2022 when she lost Mick, then 55, her soul mate, her protector, her strength, her rock and her life as she knew it was cruelly taken away from her. Mick took his life at Christmas, a month before they were moving into their newly built home. She could not face walking in that door, and it shook Noreen to her very core. So she went home to her empathic mother, her only place of solace, safety and security.

She founded Lisheens House in 2014 to help people in the prevention of death by suicide. She cannot come to terms with losing Mick.

Her grief is still overpowering with the hopes they had for their future gone forever. The strength of her mother and sons are pulling her through and Noreen emphasised that she will not give up with her aim to continue supporting people and their families.

Noreen has first hand experience of living with someone with a mental health issue and living with grief.

Noreen said she believes Lisheens House is there as an essential resource to help people survive and thrive. “Everyone needs someone to talk to so it’s important to have a safe comfortable, confidential and healing environment to work through any grief. Talking about death by any means is difficult but when a loved one dies by suicide, it is like a tsunami of emotions. Grief is love, a terrible reminder of the depth of your love; grief is the saddest and loneliest journey you will ever take, it's simply a tax we pay on love. The only way around it is through it, grief is a journey.”

Lisheens House provides free counselling to those who are in need. This service is for everyone, your father, mother, son, daughter, friends, neighbours, anyone that requires a listening ear. Lisheens House is all about a local service for local people, being a rapid, easy and accessible and where finances do not prevent you from getting the help when you most need it.

Lisheens House receives no state funding. Noreen and her family have fundraised by flag days, selling their branded wristbands and used goods in their charity shop. They collect quality used furniture, bric a brac, clothes, anything once loved and giving someone the chance to re-home it.

The charity collects furniture and donated items from all over Cork. Call Lisheens House on 086-4066348 and a staff member will organise a date for a collection.

Every item of donated furniture or any unwanted goods given contributes to the provision of a range of services for those in need of training, counselling, advice or simply a place to chat.

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