A long time ago, back in 2007 in fact, an Irish model – Katie French – died of a drug overdose. I found some of the comments made at the time pretty abhorrent and remember writing a blog post about it.
Yesterday, over 90 people, many of them teenagers, were murdered by a madman in Norway.
This afternoon I watched Twitter in horror as first people near her home tweeted about seeing ambulances and police cars, and then the confirmation came: Amy Winehouse had died. Instantly, people crowed: ‘it’s her own fault’… ‘who gives a damn?’ and much, much worse.
Seriously? Yes, Amy Winehouse obviously had terrible addictions to goodness knows what… she was troubled and – let’s face it – ill. Does that make her death less serious than those killed in Norway? She’s still somebody’s daughter. Somebody’s heart is breaking tonight knowing that she’s gone. Do the circumstances of her death make her parents less worthy of our compassion and our sympathy?
I say no.
This weekend, I’m keeping a whole lot of people in my heart. People whose lives will never be the same again. And holding my children very, very close.
And the last word must go to Katie French’s family, who said at the time: ‘we would earnestly ask all those — both young and old — who may be tempted to dabble in potentially lethal substances to simply say ‘no’. No amount of so-called fun is worth the loss of life that so often befalls young people in Ireland today.’
Over the years, a number of people in show business have faced drug issues. Some have checked into treatment centres for celebrities, while others simply did not seek any kind of help, often with tragic results.