What made Anthony McMahon, a man described as a hard worker and the “Salt of the earth”, open fire on two unarmed Gardai before fatally shooting himself? The two Gardai had stopped Mr McMahon’s van at a checkpoint after receiving reports of him driving erratically. Mr McMahon grabbed a double barrelled shotgun and pointed it at the officer, a struggle ensued and shots were fired before the officers sprinted for cover. The patrol car was hit at least four times. Mr McMahon then discharged a final shot – wounding himself fatally in the head. A suicide note was later found in Mr McMahon’s clothing at his home. The only explanation offered was that he was said to have been very agitated in recent days over a family matter.
Mr McMahon, 44, Tipperary, a taximan and carpet fitter, was separated with a teenage son whom he was very close to. His family were said to be in a state of shock and bewilderment.
The Irish Examiner quoted a family friend as saying “he had been treated for depression in recent months”. Sound familiar? What’s the first line of treatment for depression in Ireland? Antidepressants! What side effects can antidepressants have on some people? Suicide and homicide ideation.
Mr McMahon was, according to friends, a hard worker who kept to himself. Before getting a taxi licence he worked as a carpet fitter. He was said to be financially “comfortable”. A neighbour said: “His late mother left him the house and he had one brother and two sisters. He loved heading out the country with his dogs shooting pheasants. His son, who is now in his early teens, went everywhere with him and it’s very sad.”
A colleague said: “I heard that just before Christmas he needed carpets for a job and the carpet place in Dublin wouldn’t deliver them so, Anthony went up and got them himself, because he didn’t want to leave the woman of the house down. He’d have done anything to help you. Salt of the earth. It’s very sad.”
OK at the risk of sticking my nose in, was this man recently introduced to antidepressants and if so, will the causal effect of these drugs on this tragedy be investigated?
Irish Examiner Article here.
Irish Independent Article here.
Limerick Leader Article here.