Wexford GAA teams up with Samaritans at St. Patrick’s Park

Wexford GAA has teamed up with Samaritans to encourage players, members and supporters to reach out for help.

The suicide prevention charity has secured the naming rights of the second county ground, which will be known as Samaritans St Patrick’s Park for the next three years.

The new name and signage at the Enniscorthy ground was officially revealed at the end of June by Michael Martin (Cathaoirleach, Wexford GAA), Sarah O’Toole (Executive Director of Samaritans Ireland), and Jonathan Neville (volunteer and Regional Director for Samaritans Ireland).

Wexford county stars Eoin Porter and Kevin Foley and senior football manager John Hegarty also attended, and they were joined by Samaritans volunteers from Arklow and Waterford, as well as others representing Wexford GAA.

Wexford GAA naming rights

Micheál Martin said: “Samaritans is one of the leading mental health charities in Ireland, and Wexford GAA is delighted to offer them naming rights of our second county ground to Samaritans free of charge. We want to create awareness of their work and highlight the support they offer to people of all ages who are in need of emotional support.

“St Patrick’s Park is the most used county ground in Wexford, with more than 300 matches there last year, and more than 30,000 people through the turnstiles, for intercounty games, club finals, schools games, and LGFA and camogie matches. It is also the training base for the county minor and U20 teams. 

“We hope this new signage will encourage anyone, including our players and supporters, who may need someone to talk to, to call Samaritans on freephone 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie.”

Samaritans mental health partner of GAA

Wexford native Ms O’Toole said the charity was delighted to be chosen by Wexford GAA for the naming rights at St Patrick’s Park.

“Samaritans has been the mental health partner of the GAA for the last 10 years and this initiative cements that partnership even more, making sure we are there at grassroots,” she said.

“We are always trying to raise awareness of our service and target those who may need us most – it is amazing that now our name and number can be seen by anyone attending a game at Samaritans St Patrick’s Park over the next three years.

“We want everyone to remember that no matter how big or small a problem may seem, our trained volunteers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on freephone 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie.”

Emotional support for community and clubs

Wexford county footballer Eoin Porter said mental health is a topic close to everyone’s heart.

“We’ve all had incidents with mental health, whether ourselves or other people around us. It’s fantastic to see such a unique ground, like St Patrick’s Park, linked with Samaritans,” he added.

Wexford county hurler Kevin Foley said he was delighted to be at the launch.

“I think it’s a great initiative and a great idea for the local community and Wexford,” he said.

Samaritans in the only 24-hour emotional support helpline on the island of Ireland. For support call freephone 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie

Samaritans Ireland became the Mental Health partner of the GAA in 2014 – raising awareness of its service in clubs nationwide.

For more information on Samaritans, to donate or volunteer (in Waterford or Arklow), visit www.samaritans.ie