The Cloneen community has been offered the support of Clonmel mental health services, C-SAW.
In response to the tragic deaths of Nicholas and Hilary Smith, C-saw founder, Joe Leahy, is offering counselling services to the residents locals of Cloneen.
Cllr. Mark Fitzgerald was contacted by the C-saw founder and told Tipp Today that he has concerns about the portrayal of Cloneen in the media and urged the locals to take advantage of the supports being extended.
While admitting that the past few days have been difficult, Cllr Fitzgerald is confident that the neighbourhood will comeback stronger.
“He’s reached out and he said they will be there to provide support to anyone in Cloneen. I know people might not want to engage with what they might think is a stranger, but people sometimes don’t realise how important it is to have people like that there as a listening service or a support service.
“It just needs to be highlighted that for anyone in the area, and even people who may have never even heard of this couple, or met this couple, it’s such a sad situation like this might ignite something hard that has happened in their past.
“God knows it’s been a hard few days. We are a great community and we will come back stronger.”
The Cloneen native also told Tipp Today that social media users should understand that the deaths of Nicholas and Hilary Smith should not be blamed on anybody, as the couple went to extreme measures to keep their privacy.
He explained to Ali that he had been told the couple lived in the area for 8-10 years and over this time only spoke with a handful of locals, and this, combined with COVID lockdowns, made the deceased even more reclusive.
Cllr Fitzgerald expressed concern about the fact that the national media has painted Cloneen in a negative light due to not having all the details when the story first broke.
“Because all the details hadn’t emerged at the start, on a national level, it’s painted the area, the local community and the village in a poor light.
“I hadn’t intended on doing as much media as I did at all, but when a poor picture is being painted of the area, I felt I had to step forward, and I spoke to a lot of different national newspapers and national radio shows in the last couple of days trying to get the story straight.
“This poor couple went to extreme lengths and detail to conceal the fact that they were in the house. The knowledge of the people in the area was that they were actually not living in the area at all anymore.
“That needs to be got clear to everyone in the area, that no one is at blame. There’s a lot of mitigating circumstances in this situation, unfortunately. This is not a simple situation. It’s very unfair for people to comment and say, ‘the neighbours should have done this’ or ‘the local area should have done that.’
C-Saw Services Contact: 052-6172477