Tyrone referee Patrick Nelis has revealed that he attempted suicide following abuse levelled at him on Twitter.
Nelis is based in Kells and has been reffing in Meath since 2006. He took charge of the 2013 county decider between Summerhill and Na Fianna.
He was battling depression at the time and broke into 'floods of tears' when he discovered the abuse that was being meted out to him online.
I took a lot of abuse on Twitter after the county final that affected me badly. I took serious abuse, people Tweeting stuff like, ‘the fat, red hamster’.
I remember sitting at home reading that stuff in floods of tears. I kept reading it again and again, trying to get behind the reason people would say such things.
I shouldn’t have done that, I shouldn’t have read it.
Nelis spoke to the Meath Chronicle about the night he attempted suicide.
I took the overdose but what I didn’t realise was that I had sent a text, halfway through it all, saying I was going to do something. I don’t remember sending it.
My friend, who had a key, came around, found me on the bathroom floor. I was out basically cold. I was taken to Navan Hospital.
He praised officials within the GAA in Meath for keeping him going when he was at his lowest ebb.
I’ll tell you, only for the GAA, it kept me going. There were a few county board members who knew I was depressed, a couple of them on the management committee were very good to me.
One rang me up a few times every day, he was worried about me. One of them rang me continuously one day, couldn’t get me, he was worried.