How did our journey start?
The Niamh Louise Foundation was set up in February 2006 following the death of a local 15 year old girl who died by suicide. Niamh McKee died on 21st November 2005. Niamh’s sudden death sent shock waves through the small rural community of Clonmore outside Dungannon, and the surrounding areas.
Niamh’s death stunned the local community, there was confusion and disbelief. In the aftermath of her death it was soon realised that there was very little support locally in the rural community for those who had been bereaved by suicide or even affected by suicide in other ways. Services such as bereavement support groups were available in areas such as Belfast and Derry but there was very little in the heart of Tyrone and Armagh to help those who had been bereaved by suicide.
The needs of those living in the urban areas were somewhat different than the needs of those living in the rural communities in which we live in. Niamh’s mother Catherine, step-father James, and Anne Donaghy, now Chief Executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, co-founded The Niamh Louise Foundation on the 2nd of February 2006 on what would have been Niamh’s 16th birthday. Over 12 years on, we are a fully constituted charity, with cross community trustees and cross community committee members.