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‘Threats sent my son to bridge’

(DER0614PG071)

(DER0614PG071)

A Derry man who planned to jump from the Foyle Bridge was “tormented” by paramilitary threats, his distraught mother has told the ‘Journal’.

A Derry man who planned to jump to his death from the Foyle Bridge has been “tormented” by paramilitary threats, his distraught mother has told the ‘Journal’.

The Waterside woman, who did not wish to be named to protect her family, says her son had left his shoes, socks and mobile phone on the bridge on Wednesday night.

He was spotted by a passing taxi driver who “grabbed him by the legs and pulled him back” to safety.

She revealed that just moments earlier she had said a prayer while looking out the window of her home towards the Foyle, that the family of Andrew Quigley (19) - who has been missing for a month - would be successful in their search for him.

“I had no idea that at that point, my son was there, just minutes away from his ending his life,” she said.

“I’ll never forget the feeling I had when that taxi driver came to my door. I have never felt sickness like it.”

The Derry mother says her son, who is in his early 20s, has faced numerous false accusations of being a drug dealer.

“My son is not a dealer,” she told the ‘Journal’. “I know that he has his issues with drugs and alcohol, but he dabbles in them for his personal use and that’s it.”

The Waterside mum welcomed the campaign for a detox centre in the city.

Her son and other young people are terrified that coming forward might lead them into the hands of the organisations who have threatened them, she said.

“They’re terrified and something needs to be done. These groups have taken the law into their own hands and my son felt like he had no way out but to try and take his own life. I’m only glad that the taxi driver and the police were there to avoid a tragedy.”

Anyone who is in distress can call freephone helplines, Samaritans 08457 909090 or Lifeline 0808 808 8000.

 

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