Tommy Tiernan Show review: Brent Pope says a call to the Samaritans ‘saved my life’

Tommy Tiernan Show review: Brent Pope says a call to the Samaritans ‘saved my life’

Rugby star Brent Pope opened up about his struggles with his mental health, revealing on Saturday night’s Tommy Tiernan Show that he first reached out to his father for support and at another time a call to the Samaritans during “a particularly low period” saved his life.

“I remember ringing father from a payphone one night in tears just saying” ‘Dad, come and get me, I can’t play rugby anymore. I can’t go on like this. I can’t go on continuing to live the lie that I’m okay, because I’m not okay’,” he said.

“That was the start of reaching out for help and thank God I did because I made a call to the Samaritans one night when I was in a particularly low period – it’s emotional for me now even to go back to those days. They saved my life. I’ll always remember as long as I live, this wonderful voice at the end of the line that just said, ‘what’s wrong friend?’ 

“I don’t know what it was with that word ‘friend’ that just resonated with me. Here’s someone that doesn’t know me and that’s prepared to be my friend. I just wanted to be hugged and told it’s going to be okay. That’s what I wanted and nobody could give me that.” 

Brent says he studied psychotherapy and uses his platform to help others. “I have a voice too,” he said. “A number of times [when playing rugby] I was told ‘toughen up’, ‘man up’, ‘harden up’, ‘real men don’t cry’. Well, hey, yes they do.” 

The second guests chatting to @Tommedian are writers Ann & Róisín Ingle 🎉🎉@roisiningle#TommyTiernanShow

— RTÉ One (@RTEOne) February 5, 2022

Also on the show were Irish Times journalist Róisín Ingle and her mother, writer Ann Ingle. Ann shared the story of her marriage and her own life following her husband’s death at 41 in 1980.

“I was 41 at the time, as he was, and I’m 82 now and my life didn’t stop when his life stopped. It kept going,” she said. Ann, who grew up in London, dated after a while and laughed about Irish attitudes towards talking about sex. “You talk about meals, ‘I had a lovely dinner’. Why wouldn’t you say ‘I had a lovely man last night’?” 

Róisín, who writes a weekly column, said some of her mother’s antics have made their way into the newspaper’s pages.

“I wouldn’t be able to write those columns if it wasn’t my mom because my mother is a very open person. She’s really happy for me in what I do, and she doesn’t mind me using stuff from our family. I think other people might be constrained in that way. I’m not and I’m so gra

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