A mother and father are facing the unimaginable pain of losing all three of their beloved to sons and a nephew to suicide.
Stephen Ferrin, 31, died at the weekend after returning home from going missing.
The father-of-one’s death is the fourth suicide to rock the devastated Northern Irish family.
It comes after figures from the Office of National Statistics show the country has the highest ranking suicide rate in the UK.
Stephen Ferrin’s death is the fourth suicide to rock the devastated North Irish family. Mr Ferrin’s three brothers and cousin all took their own lives.
Mr Ferrin, 31, had been reported missing in the days leading up to his death. He was found at his home, but took his life just day later
NORTHERN IRELAND’S SUICIDE RATE REACHED A DEVASTATING ALL-TIME HIGH IN 2015
The country had the highest suicide rate in the UK at 19.3 deaths per 100,000 population
The latest figures available for Northern Ireland show the country’s suicide rate reached a devastating all-time high in 2015.
While Scotland and England saw increases in the rate, Northern Ireland saw large increases driven by an increase in male suicide death, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
The country had the highest suicide rate in the UK at 19.3 deaths per 100,000 population — significantly higher than the rate in any of the other constituent countries.
The ONS report reads: ‘In 2015, the rate in Northern Ireland was the same as that observed in 2010 and is currently the highest on record.
‘The large increase seen in Northern Ireland between 2004 and 2006 coincides with a change to the Coroner’s Service.
‘Prior to April 2006, there were 7 Coroner’s districts in Northern Ireland. Following a review of the Coroner’s Service, the separate districts were amalgamated into one centralised Coroner’s Service.’
The ONS said Northern Ireland data is not yet available for 2016.
There were 19.3 deaths per 100,000 of the population in 2015 — when data for Northern Ireland was last published — which is significantly higher than England, Scotland or Wales.
Mr Ferrin’s death came after his brothers Niall, 19, and Kieran, 24, both took their own lives — as well as their cousin, Christopher, who was 19.
The brothers have left behind their heartbroken parents and two sisters.
‘Stephen is a father, a brother and a son who is cherished and deeply loved and he will be sadly missed by all his friends and family,’ parents Patricia and Eddie told the Belfast Telegraph.
‘He was a handsome young man, who was very witty, and who had lots and lots of friends,’ the four brothers’.
‘His death is devastating to us, to his friends and to the whole community and we would like to bury him with the dignity and the respect he deserves.’
Mr Ferrin was reported missing last week but was found after an appeal for help finding him.
He was found dead at his home on Saturday — just days after returning.
Mr Ferrin is also thought to have lost five friends to suicide.
His brother Kieran took his own life five months after reportedly being beaten unconscious in a vicious sectarian assault in 2014.
That tragedy took place three years after their brother Niall committed suicide, too. He was also reported to have been the victim of a sectarian attack when he was only 15.
Their cousin, Christopher, took his own life in 2010 only days after reportedly breaking down and waiting for a whole day to see a mental health team.
Phillip McTaggert, a family friend, told Belfast Live: ‘He had been going training, had been doing very well at that.
‘All of a sudden I think he went into a downward spiral and he left the training and ended up leaving his job.
‘These are all classic signs that a young man is feeling down and maybe some things had just got on top of him.’
Niall (pictured) was also reported to have been the victim of a sectarian attack when he was only 15. He took his own like three years before Mr Ferrin’s other brother, Kieran
Mr Ferrin’s brother Kieran took his own life five months after reportedly being beaten unconscious in a vicious sectarian assault in 2014
Right: Mr Ferrin’s cousin Christopher took his own life in 2010 only days after reportedly breaking down and waiting for a whole day to see a mental health team. Right: A tribute to Mr Ferrin’s brothers Kieran and Niall
He said Mr Ferrin’s death highlights the urgent need for a dedicated mental health centre in the area he lived.
Stephen’s funeral is expected to help later this week.
Friends are also raising funds to support the grieving Ferrin family, which can be made here.
- For confidential support call Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, or see samaritans.org for details