92-year-old who lost son and grandson to suicide determined to rebuild fire-damaged cottage

Terry Rooney knows loss more than most.

The 92-year-old's son and grandson, both in their early 30s, died after taking their own lives.

He's continuing to live with that pain alongside a determination to help others suffering from mental health issues.

On the grounds of his home in Rostrevor in Co Down, lies Terry's old work shed which only last month, was transformed into an old cottage housing old artefacts as well as sentimental family treasures in memory of his son Owen and grandson, Frederico.

However, last week, an accidental fire ripped through the whole cottage, destroying its interior along with much of what was contained in it.

Terry told UTV that he is fortunate he was not inside the cottage at the time but that he's determined to get it rebuilt once again.

"I want to get it back up and running to help anybody with mental health problems - that's my main reason for getting it back as soon as possible," he said.

"It can be rebuilt. Rome was rebuilt and I'll rebuild this better than ever."

Outside Terry's house sits a collection bucket for suicide prevention charity PIPS. Brian Hyland from the charity said everyone was 'devastated' by the damage caused.

He said: "We're all really, really down about it because we know how much work Terry has put in and how much the cottage means to him personally, so yes everyone is really devastated by what has happened and for Terry.

"As a charity we've offered him full support throughout this period because it has been very difficult."

Terry has asked people to donate what artefacts they can to help him rebuild from this loss.

If you're struggling and require support, more information can be found here.

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