WATCH: Tipperary hurler Niall O’Meara opens up about older brother committing suicide on TV3’s Ireland AM

Tipperary hurler Niall O’Meara and Galway’s Conor Whelan spoke about mental health on TV3’s Ireland AM.



Tipperary hurler Niall O’Meara and Galway’s Conor Whelan raised awareness around mental health on Friday morning’s episode of TV3’s Ireland AM.

The sporting stars participated in Ireland AM’s Time to Talk mental health campaign, which featured numerous guests throughout the week.

Kilruane MacDonagh's Niall O'Meara expressed how important it is to talk about mental health. “You wouldn’t know when people are actually struggling, you think a person could have everything and inside they could be really hurting”.

Niall was only eleven years old when his older brother Paul died by suicide on a Saturday night during midterm break in 2004. He remembers the event vividly and his family ended up moving home due to the memories left in the house where the incident took place.

Conor Whelan and Niall O’Meara on TV3's Ireland AM.

Galway’s Conor Whelan spoke about the importance of moving past the stigma of mental health and that it needs to progress further in the next four-five years so that “If somebody is suffering that someone can put an arm around them and just talk to them”.

Conor’s first cousin and his mother’s godchild, Niall Donoghue, took his own life in 2013. “Before Niall, I never even knew what the word depression was”,” he said. The death of Niall Donoghue was one that was met with confusion and disbelief. How could a GAA icon which was adored by his family, friends and community be depressed?

Speaking about their own generation, both agreed that the perception of having to live a perfect life over social media is driving young people to depression. “Social expectancies are so different to what they were years ago.

“Maybe if they’re not getting a certain amount of likes on a photo, they might think, ‘is there something wrong with me?’,” he added.

Conor Whelan and Niall O’Meara on TV3's Ireland AM.