Brendan Courtney, an Irish TV presenter, broadcaster & fashion designer will help launch Laois CONNECTS week 2019 by interviewing Angela Hayes of the Thomas Hayes Trust.
The Thomas Hayes Trust (THT) was established in February 2014 by Angela Hayes, her children, family and friends following the tragic loss of her son, Thomas to suicide (2010) on the anniversary of his dad’s suicide. At that time she was unaware of the suffering within the community experienced by others in similar circumstances. This awareness was illuminated when her son Alan and Angela were invited to speak on the Late Late Show, in January 2014, to tell their story of how suicide had affected their family. On that night her son Alan performed a song he composed for her called “Survivor” a song he wrote to show her that he was proud of how she had reached out for help through counselling, to help herself and her family navigate the awful pain of grief through suicide. The public response to their story and the song was phenomenal, with people suggesting that Alan’s song be recorded and the proceeds be donated to a charity. It was not her intention at that time to do anything except tell their story however, with the overwhelming response and the launching of the song an opportunity presented to set up the Trust to “support the people of Kilkenny and surrounding areas that have been affected by suicide, and to those who contemplate or contemplated ending their life” Angela says “The Thomas Hayes Trust by helping others will commemorate the life of Thomas – a son, brother and friend”, and to remember his father Tommy.