The family of a Derrytresk joiner have reassured friends and family that reports of a breakdown are wide of the mark, after the news that One Direction’s Zayn Malik is leaving the band with immediate effect caused confusion between various organisations.
Patsy Fitzgerald (49), who had no previous knowledge of the band, experienced a breakdown just as Stephen Nolan announced the news on Radio Ulster yesterday morning. Fitzgerald phoned his wife in obvious distress, informing her that he didn’t think he could go on any further. Debbie Fitzgerald (48), a One Direction fan who was at the time trying to let the surprising news of her favourite singer’s decision sink in, panicked and immediately phoned the Samaritans who arrived with Fitzgerald within 20 mins on the Annaghmore Road.
“I’d been ignoring the oil light, break light, water light and heating light on the Datsun for months but it finally all packed in this morning. Conked out. I phoned herself to get someone to tow me in but before I knew it a man and a woman arrived and put their arms around me and told me it’d be ok…that these things take time to heal. I just wanted the motor towed to be honest.”
The Samaritans persisted for two and a half hours, trying different tactics to reassure Fitzgerald that he’d get over this eventually and to think of the good things he had in his life.
“I found myself blurting and crying, thinking about the money I’d have to pump into the motor now to fix it. Thank God these Samaritans were about or I’d probably have headed to the club and gambled my sorrows away.”
The confusion worsened after the AA arrived to help Fitzgerald with the 1988 Datsun with the Samaritans angry that he hadn’t told them he was an alcoholic.