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UL Tea Society holds Mad Hatters Tea Party in aid of Limerick Suicide Watch

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The UL Tea Appreciation Society hosted their annual Mad Hatters Tea Party to fundraise for the Limerick Suicide Watch recently.

The society, one of the largest on campus, is in its fourth year running and held the fundraiser as part of the UL SoUL Arts Festival.

The tea party was held in Plassey House on the grounds of the university.

img_6484President of the society, Ms Rachel West, said that the society had wanted to fundraise for an organisation that dealt with mental health.

“The thing that solidified it for us was just how important it was that there’s someone there to help people, and that’s what they do- all the time, without fail,” she said.

Mr Mike O’Mare and Ms Joan Forde from Limerick Suicide Watch were present to talk to those attending about the work they carry out.

The funds raised during the event will be used for crew training, uniforms and equipment.

After the split of the Corbett Suicide Watch in June, Ms Forde said that the two resulting charities are patrolling the same areas and work together.

“Sometimes both teams might be out, but it would be when we might think things could be busy. We have the same reason for being out,” she said.

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Both Mr O’Mara and Ms Forde are disgusted with the recent €20 million cutback in the budget for mental health.

“It’s crazy, beggars belief,” said Mr O’Mara.

Mrs Forde said that she doesn’t understand the cutbacks. “There are so many things that they could do with the money. I don’t understand why they say “Oh we can’t get the staff so we couldn’t spend it, so we put it somewhere else.”

“They could spend it on Pieta House, they could spend it on counselling services, other services that could still be used for mental health. The people that we meet, they need access to counselling,” she said.

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