By Cronan Scanlon
A MAN who for years battled drink addiction and depression has said it was the Letterkenny Youth and Family Service (LYFS) that finally transformed his life.
Patrick Doherty (57) is originally from Clonmany, but left the Inishowen village for Letterkenny five years ago after his drinking got worse and his marriage broke up.
He says he cannot pin-point the root cause of his depression, but alluded to the death of his father by drowning when he was just four years old and being bullied by a teacher at national school.
An articulate man who once had his own engineering business, Mr Doherty decided to speak to the Donegal News this week in the hope his story would help others.
He started drinking when he was just 15 years old and suffered from addiction and depression for most of his life.
“I started drinking young,” he explained.
“I wasn’t a bad footballer – I played in goals for Clonmany Shamrocks and for the local GAA club, Urris. I had a couple of trials for the County Minor team, but after the last one I was drinking cans in the dressing room at MacCumhaill Park – it’s not a bit wonder I wasn’t picked for the team.”
While LYFS has much to offer the community, Patrick says their funding has been cut back. As a result, he wants to give something back to the organisation that has given so much to him.
So, next month, he will run and walk the Donegal Marathon in Letterkenny in order to raise much needed funds.
If anyone would like to sponsor Patrick, they can do so by contacting the LYFS office at 1 New Line House, New Line Road, Letterkenny.
LYFS now has a walking group every Tuesday at 7 pm as well as an ‘Active Friday group each week at 11 am.
For further information on LYFS and the services they provide, contact 074 91 23078.
Read Patrick’s inspiring story in today’s Donegal News, or subscribe to our digital edition.
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