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Gavin Friday - Irish people love to talk, except when it really matters......

July 18, 2013, 08:39


 “Irish people love to talk…..except when it really matters,”

-     Gavin Friday


-     Dublin Samaritans to help people learn how to ‘actively listen’ (seminar 22nd July)


-     Gavin Friday to join Dublin Samaritans on streets of Dublin  (midnight 23rd July)


“We Irish love to talk……..or do we?” says Gavin Friday, I think we’re great at talking - except when it really matters.”  

“It’s really important that people talk to someone before their problems become overwhelming – and that when they do open up, their friends, family or whoever they confide in, let them talk – and know how to listen.”

Gavin was talking at the announcement by the Dublin that they are hosting an “Active Listening” seminar on Monday, 22nd July in their premises at Marlborough Street, Dublin at 8pm.  The Seminar is free to attend but booking a seat is advised – please email: or call 01-892 0903.

“People suffering from depression are very good at hiding it,” says Brendan Gallagher, Director, Dublin Samaritans, “but when they do contact us, it takes a very special kind of skill to get them to talk.  We call it ‘Active Listening’ and we want to help the general public learn that skill.”

Gavin Friday is a long-time supporter of the Dublin Samaritans and its mission - which is that fewer people die by suicide. “Suicide is not an ‘issue’ – it’s a person,” he says. “Suicide is not a statistic - it is the death, the traumatic death of another human being. All of us should be on the lookout for people in crisis.” 

At the “Active Listening” seminar, Brendan Gallagher will give tips on what signs people should look out for to recognise anxiety in a friend or family member – and how to handle it. 

“With Active Listening, the focus should not be on problem solving but on the feelings of the person in crisis,” Brendan says. “Feelings are complex always - the person in a crisis may be experiencing a whole range of contrasting feelings all at the same time.  Giving them the space and the time to explore their feelings we believe helps a person to see things from a different perspective. Although most people are emotionally ‘literate’, many are not. There are many people who live lonely desperate lives, and who have experienced very little love and whose feelings are unknown even to themselves.”

The “Active Listening” seminar is part of the Samaritans’ annual awareness campaign, which takes place on 24th July and the theme of which this year is “24/7 Talk to Us”. They want people to talk to them sooner - when the small problems occur and not wait until these small problems combine to become overwhelming.

Gavin Friday to join Dublin Samaritans on streets of Dublin:

The Dublin Samaritans will be joined by Gavin Friday on O’Connell Street to mark the start of their “24/7 Talk to Us” street campaign which sees them set up couches on Dublin’s main thoroughfare, just across from the Gresham Hotel at midnight, 23rd July!

At midday on 24th July, the Dublin Samaritans will move their couches to Grafton Street (at St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre) where they will continue to promote their “Talk to Us” campaign until midnight.

Gavin Friday concludes, “So we Irish should keep on talking – but especially when it really matters. And if someone should open up to you, please give them space and time to talk.”


Gavin Friday is pictured with some Dublin Samaritans volunteers including, Brendan Gallagher, (second left), Director, Dublin Samaritans and Malachy Quinn (far right), Chair, Dublin Samaritans

-       Ends –


For further information, please contact:

Grainne Byrne

087 245 9463

18th July 2013

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