The Mirror
October 18, 2000


By Jenny Friel

POP priestess Sinead O'Connor yesterday handed over
the deeds to her pounds 1million home to help raise
funds for a clinic for Irish
drug addicts.

The singer has put her house in Atlanta, Georgia, on
the market for more than $ 1.5million.

And she wants the proceeds to go to building a drink
and drugs treatment clinic in Limerick city.

Last night the centre's founder Tommy Roche, 29, said:
"She did not do this for me or for herself.

"Sinead did it for the young people of Limerick city.
The tragedies of suicide and addiction are very close
to her heart."

Tommy's campaign began earlier this year when his two
brothers, Alan and Jeffrey, committed suicide within
five days of each other.

He then appeared on the Late Late Show where the
father-of-three told host Pat Kenny of his hopes of
opening a treatment centre for

Soon after, Dubliner Sinead heard about Tommy's scheme
and contacted him to say she would like to help.

Holding the deeds to Sinead's home, Tommy said:
"Initially we all thought she might do a gig but we
couldn't believe she would be as
generous as this.

"But she didn't want publicity or it to be seen as a

More than pounds 40,000 has already been raised
locally and a number of other fundraising events have
been planned.

Tommy now hopes that land in Co Limerick will be
bought for the centre, which Tommy has called Aljeff
after his brothers.

He said: "People will get six to eight weeks treatment
and we also hope to have a half-way house if they
don't want to go home."

Tommy told how his brother Alan was just 22 when he
was found hanging from the goal-posts of a local
soccer pitch on January 5 this

Just five days later his older brother Jeffrey, 25,
hanged himself in the family home.

Tommy said he believed it was his brothers' addiction
to alcohol and drugs that killed them, adding: "No
family should go through what
we've gone through.

"It destroys a family. It's the worst type of death -
it just takes away everything."

He is now working with local priest Fr Joe Young who
helped Tommy beat his own alcohol addiction when he
was younger.

Tommy said: "What people need is to get out of that

"Drink and drugs are big problems in Limerick city
right now and we need to get the young away from it.

"Counsellors will be there to help get suicidal
thoughts out of their minds.

"They will be there with people who are feeling like

"The clinic will be run by professional people who
will look after anyone who goes there.

"Suicide among young people is a huge problem and we
have to do something to stop it. They are crying out
for help."

Donations can be sent to The Aljeff Treatment Centre,
Bank of Ireland, Roxboro, Limerick.

The account number is (90-44-99) 77497254.

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