Meet Vinny

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I’m originally from Tallaght and lived there all my life until I moved to Saggart where I now live with my wife and daughter who’s just gone two.

I’m a big people person and I’m very interested in helping to make a change in the world so since last February I have been working on putting together a charity event that’ll take place on Sunday in the Basketball Arena.

It’s an indoor football tournament in aid of Jigsaw which I hope will help to open up a dialogue around suicide and mental health amongst young people.

I’ve managed to get quite a lot of well known faces on board, people like Damien Duff, Stephanie Roche, Picture This, The Riptide Movement, The Coronas to name but a few have kindly offered to give up their time to raise awareness of the epidemic of suicide in young people in this country.

My motivation for organising it came when I heard that Ireland has the fourth highest rate of youth suicide in Europe which is a shocking stat considering our population.

So much of it is happening in Tallaght I thought what could I do to try and even save one life?

Like so many people from this community I’ve seen the affect suicide has and the devastation it leaves behind.

I want people who may be going through a difficult time to see that there are organisations and individuals supporting this event because they care and to show we are all here to help anyone who is in search of support.

Everyone will go through tough times and when they do they need to talk to people and not keep it to themselves.

We can all help each other by communicating and making sure people are ok.

Even just a simple hello can sometimes help.

As I looked around for what charity to support Jigsaw stood out because of the great work they do in this area.

Jigsaw Tallaght is one of the branches in Ireland which offer early intervention services to youths aged 12-25, including one-to-one support and is one of thirteen Jigsaw branches in the country that offer a free and confidential support service for young people aged 12 – 25.

I’ve never organised anything of this scale, I had organised some small events before but nothing this big.

As I began working on it I realised it was way bigger than I expected but thankfully I haven’t had one bad experience in all the last five months.

People have been so kind, buying tickets to support it, donating everything you could think of, from water to football kits, which I needed 64 of!

Everyone has been willing to come on board and I am so thankful to all of them.

I’m really looking forward to what will be a fun filled day for all the family and as I said if I can help even one person then I’ll be happy.