Father of son who died by suicide warns of dangers of binge drinking

The father of a man who died by suicide has warned young people of the dangers of binge drinking and appealed for all those involved in the sale and supply of ’cheap’ alcohol to recognise the impact it is having on some families.

John Higgins, whose son David, died in 2011, went on to reveal on the Ray D’Arcy radio show on RTE Radio 1 this afternoon that the inquest into his son David’s death recorded a verdict of death by suicide with alcohol a contributory factor.

Mr Higgins revealed how David would regularly binge drink.

’When he’d go out at night, I’d get a knot in my stomach. I’d sit in the armchair and I’d have the blind on the window up maybe eight or nine inches and I’d watch the gate... I’d sit there and watch the gate to see his feet coming in the gate, and once they did I was happy’.

The night David took his life Mr Higgins said that he had a gut feeling that things were not right.

"I got up and I rang him, and he answered the phone and he was sobbing. He was crying, I knew he was in bother then, I tried to get him to tell me where he was but he just couldn’t tell me’.

David went missing hours later and his phone was left on a bridge over the river Moy.

Mr Higgins went on to tell Ray D’Arcy that he feels very strongly about the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill which will attempt to address excessive consumption by establishing robust regulation on price, labelling, marketing and availability of alcohol products.

He spoke to Ray about the amount of alcohol people can buy for €15 and said he believes that this is a huge part of the problem.

"All parties should be united on this bill, I cannot see why they’re not ... People would say to me, well now David has to accept some of the responsibility ... but do the people that sell the alcohol not have to have some of the responsibility ... can you just sell it and take the profit and let them out the door and not worry about them’.

Listen to the full interview below.

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