The heartbroken daughter of a popular Dublin DJ has urged people who are suffering from depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis to ask for help if they need it.
Matt Corrigan, who was much loved and respected in the inner city, died suddenly on Monday.
His beloved daughter Sophie said the outgoing dad-of-four had been struggling with depression which was made worse by the fact that he couldn’t perform due to the current lockdown measures.
Holding back tears, the Leaving Cert student urged anyone who is struggling with their mental health during the pandemic to reach out and talk to someone.
“I’d just like to ask people to speak out, find someone to talk to,” she told RTE Radio One’s Liveline this afternoon.
“It doesn’t matter who it is, it’s just so, so important to find someone and talk to someone and do not bottle it in because life is way too precious.”
Earlier, Sophie told host Joe Duffy her dad was her “best friend” who was dedicated to his kids.
“Everything he did, he walked breathed and lived his kids. He has four kids including myself.
“He has Natalie, his eldest, he has me. Then he has my little brother Matthew and then he had little Harper and I know how much he loved and adored us. We were his life and he was ours.”
Sophie said her dad was a proud man who never wanted to worry his family with his struggles.
“He protected us until his last breath and I know that he thought that hiding his pain from us was his way of protecting us.
“He was a man of pride. He was proud of us and he was proud of himself for what he’d achieved.”
And she added that she hoped her dad’s story would encourage others to seek counselling.
She said: “Although he wasn’t all for counselling and he wasn’t all for help because he was a very stubborn man, and I know a lot of people out there are very stubborn and they don’t feel that they can reach out to people, but I want to tell people that as much of the pain that you might feel and as lonely as you might feel and you might feel like there’s no one there but there really is.
“As much as the awareness of mental health has grown in the past few years, I still believe that there are not enough resources out there and there is not enough out there for people.
“If it’s not an emergency, it’s not taken seriously.
“The waiting list for places to go to to see people are just too long and the support is just not there. It should be more of a priority.”
DJ Matt was so popular around the area that he would be stopped everywhere he went.
“Everybody knew him as extremely bubbly and lively and funny,” said Sophie.
“He just had an amazing character. He was such a good friend to everybody and he was so selfless and he cared so much about everybody and most importantly he was an amazing father and I could never ask for anymore of him.”
In spite of his outgoing personality, Sophie said her dad “didn’t like to face his emotions”.
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But she added that she and her siblings inherited their dad’s deep love of music and she fondly remembered the last gig she did with him in a pub in Ballybough.
“That was the very last gig that I did with him and I think it was the best,” she said.
“The place was crowded and he was smiling and it just showed him in his element with me.”
With the Leaving Cert cancelled due to the outbreak of the deadly bug, Sophie did get the chance to tell her delighted dad that she would be going to college to study performing arts.
“I even got to tell him the news that I was off to college and he was so happy for me.”
Are you affected by this story?
If you or someone you know has been affected by the issues raised in this article please contact:
- Samaritans helpline 116 123
- Aware helpline 1800 80 48 48
- Pieta House on 1800 247 247
- The ISPCC on 01 676 7960
Local councillor Christy Burke also paid tribute to Matt, saying he was “more popular than Elvis”.
He added: “Matt was a great guy to draw the best out of you. He was very much a community activist. He was a very obliging guy and he will be sadly missed.”
Matt’s funeral will take place at 10am on Saturday at Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Sean McDermott Street.
He is survived by his mother Vera, children Natalie, Sophie, Matthew and Harper and his 13 siblings.
Source: Dublin News