Bereaved mum helps charity that came to her aid

A Lisburn mother has raised money for a charity whichsupported her following the death of her son.

Josie Ferris of the Hibernian Club Linsburn presenting a cheque to Anita Murray of the The Compassionate Friends charity. Onlooking is Collette McShane.

Collette McShane was left heartbroken when her son Marc Halpin died after taking four ecstasy tablets in 2004.

Marc died due to the effects of the lethal drug, after taking it at a friend’s house in Armagh where he had been living at the time.

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He rise in body temperature and the onset of convulsions - for an hour. The 20-year-old eventually suffered a seizure and collapsed in unconsciousness.

He was rushed to Craigavon Area Hospital but died a short time later.

The charity Compassionate Friends which has a group in Lisburn provided Collette with much needed support after her son died and she decided that as Marc should have been turning 30, she would hold a party to raise money for the charity.

It provides support and friendship for parents and their families who are coming to terms with bereavement.

Collette, from Tonagh, told the Star that if Marc had have been alive today she would have been throwing him a 30th birthday party so that’s why she wanted to hold the fundraiser.

“I went to a Compassionate Friends group in the Downtown Centre in Lisburn a month after Marc died.

“It helped me and I just wanted to give them something back.” She continued: There is always going to be a me - a mother or father grieving unfortunately and the charity will be such a tower of strength to them. It does feel good to help someone else in your position.

Collette would like to thank all her friends and family who supported the fundraiser which was held in May in the Hibernian Club. She has extended a special thank you to those who donated raffle prizes. To date over £1,200 has been raised.

The Compassionate Friends group meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 8pm – 10pm at Lisburn Downtown centre.

If you wish to know more about Compassionate Friends, please contact the local Help line: 028 8778 8016.