Belfast Telegraph

Family left desolate by suicide of a second son

By Anne Madden

A family is mourning the loss of a second young son as a result of suicide.

Missing teenager Michael Robinson (18) was found by horrified children in a wooded area in Denmark Street in north Belfast on Friday — three weeks after he was reported missing.

A post-mortem was carried out yesterday and police said they are not treating his death as suspicious.

Police had renewed their appeal for information regarding the teenager last week, who was last seen on the Crumlin Road on August 29. They don’t believe his body had been in the area all the time that he was missing.

His uncle, Stephen Burrows, said he was devastated at his second nephew’s death.

“He was more like a wee brother than a nephew to me,” he said last night. “I think he missed his brother too much.”

Michael was just 14 when he discovered his older brother Neil had taken his own life in the family home.

He was one of three brothers from the Crumlin Road area of north Belfast.

The teenager was unemployed but had recently applied to join the Army.

Mr Burrows urged young people not to see suicide as a way out.

“It is a total waste of a young life,” he said.

“I’d appeal to anyone with problems to confide in someone, talk about your problems. There are many community workers in the area trying to tackle suicide and lots of youth programmes.”

Michael’s parents are understood to have been involved in suicide prevention work in the community.

About 200 people a year take their own lives in Northern Ireland, with suicide the number one cause of death among young men.

For anyone needing help or advice or who is concerned about someone else, there are a number of organisations you can contact.

The PIPS project, which began in north Belfast, provides a 24-hour helpline on 0808 808 8000.

Samaritans is also available for on 08457 90 90 90 in the UK or by email at

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