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'Gary Speed's death was a wake-up call': Keith Gillespie making comeback at 45 in aid of mental health

 

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Former Northern Ireland hero Keith Gillespie and ex-Irish League player Ciaran Feehan, now both playing for FC Mindwell, and Laura Wylie from the club's charity partner Links Counselling Service.

Former Northern Ireland hero Keith Gillespie and ex-Irish League player Ciaran Feehan, now both playing for FC Mindwell, and Laura Wylie from the club's charity partner Links Counselling Service.

Stephen Hamilton

Former Northern Ireland hero Keith Gillespie and ex-Irish League player Ciaran Feehan, now both playing for FC Mindwell, and Laura Wylie from the club's charity partner Links Counselling Service.

When discussing her work with FC Mindwell's charity partner Links Counselling Service, it's with a note of caution that Laura Wylie highlights that the latest available figures regarding suicide in Northern Ireland are two years old.

In times like these, that's long enough ago to constitute a different world. And yet, long before all the uncertainty and isolation endured by many over the past months, already almost one person in the province took their own life each day.

The numbers are arresting, yet large enough to be difficult to comprehend. For many, facts and figures simply don't register in the same way as names and faces. It is only when confronted with such tragedy in our own smaller circles that the stark reality is forced upon us.