Niall Donoghue back in 2013.

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

TWENTY ONE-YEAR-old Conor Whelan is preparing to line out for Galway in the All-Ireland hurling final on Sunday, 19 August, after yesterday’s win over Clare.

The Kinvara forward is a cousin of another former Tribesman star — the late Niall Donoghue, who took his own life just two days before his 23rd birthday in October 2013.

As part of Littlewood’s #StyleOfPlay series, Whelan speaks openly about dealing with the loss of a family member and the issue of mental health in general.

“Niall Donoghue would have been my first cousin and he would have been my first idol,” Conor says. “He took his own life in the winter of 2013.

It was immensely sad, it is still very raw and hard to take. We all have a responsibility to try and raise awareness and try highlight the importance of mental health.

“Sometime GAA players have a platform to reach out to young people who look up to them. I just think it’s very important that we try and influence them, change the culture and make sure we don’t lose another loved one like that.”

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Source: Littlewoods Ireland/YouTube

If you need to talk, please contact:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 1800 247 247 or email mary@pieta.ie (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s) 

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