The former Rugby player, rock star and man that week after week breaks the hearts of many female viewers of “The Voice of Ireland” is all set to lead the hundreds of cyclists into Donegal as part of the Cycle against Suicide.
Niall Breslin, known to all as “Bressie”, has strong local connections in both Frosses and Bundoran, is all set to lead the cyclists into Donegal which will stop at Colaiste Cholmcille in Ballyshannon at 11.45 tomorrow morning.
The Mullingar man, who has competed in triathalons, recently spoke out about his own bout of anxiety and depression. “It all started with the Voice when I lost my anonymity. It took its toll.
“I think it was coming anyway, but I started suffering badly from anxiety,” he said.
“I’m quite open about it, and I definitely don’t blame the show on it. By chance, it happened at the same time as the show kicked off.”
Indeed, there was a moment during the show’s first season when Bressie felt he was about to have a panic attack on live television. “I’d never had that in my life,” he recalls. “I didn’t know what they were.”
Eventually, he decided to do something about it. He talked to friends and family. He even wrote about it for his new album. His mother, Mandy, suggested he take up sports again. “I think the biggest thing of all was just talking about it,” he explains, “and the thing I need to get across about it is, in the same way a cold isn’t the flu, stress is not anxiety. Anxiety consumes you – it swallows you up. It’s not, ‘ah, a bit of stress – I’ll have a beer and I’ll get over it’. It doesn’t work like that”.
Last year, Bressie began training for a series of forthcoming triathlons in order to raise awareness and money for the Lakelands Area Retreat & Cancer Centre (LARCC), a foundation run by his mother. “It’s really good for the head,” he says of his training. “Anything like anxiety or depression is a chemical imbalance in your head and anything that actually offsets that, like physical fitness, helps. I chose not to go down the medication route.”
The cyclists will leave Sligo tomorrow morning and will arrive at Colaiste Cholmcille in Ballyshannon for presentations and lunch, passing on through the Diamond in Donegal Town at 2.20pm before arriving at the Letterkenny Institute of Technology at 4.45pm.