Samaritans Limerick & Tipperary is a charity registered in the Republic of Ireland (20167448) and incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (622381). Samaritans Limerick & Tipperary is a recognised branch of Samaritans.

Welcome to Samaritans - Limerick & Tipperary

If something's troubling you, get in touch:

Telephone our branch:

061 412111 (local call charges apply)

National telephone:

116 123 (this number is free to call)

Visit our branch:

Samaritans Limerick 20 Barrington Street Limerick Republic of Ireland

Usual hours open to receive callers at the door:

9:00am - 10:00pm

Facilities for visitors with disabilities:

Wheelchair accessible

Samaritans Limerick & Tipperary is a charity registered in the Republic of Ireland (20167448) and incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (622381). Samaritans Limerick & Tipperary is a recognised branch of Samaritans.


Overview 2018

Limerick Samaritans have had a very busy year and are on track to answer more than 50,000 calls in 2018 from those who are struggling to cope.

Since the introduction of the free to call 116 123 number in March 2014, calls to the Samaritans 24-hour helpline has increased greatly. From answering approx. 250,000 calls in the noughties (2000-2009) Limerick Samaritans is currently on course to answer in excess of 400,000 calls this decade. In addition to the phone service callers can also contact Samaritans for 24-hour support via text – 0872609090 and/or email – .

Callers can also call to the branch to speak with one of our volunteers at 20, Barrington St., Limerick every day of the year from 9am to 10pm.


How do we do what we do and how can you help?

Since opening on September 1st 1975, Samaritans Limerick has been entirely run and managed by local volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. This includes volunteer recruitment, delivery of 30 hours training to new volunteers, mentoring of listening volunteers, publicity, fundraising, building maintenance etc.

Our annual operating costs are approx. €85,000 a year. If we are to grow the service we offer, recruit and train new volunteers, meet the challenge of administration, ever changing technology and raise awareness in the community a more realistic income of €120,000 is required.

But the best way that you can help is by becoming a listening volunteer, for it is the human contact that we offer our callers 24 hours a day 365 days a year that is priceless.


If you would like to volunteer with us

all other enquiries,

Office: or call 0877101572


Nature of Caller Concerns

When people contact Samaritans for emotional support, they often mention several concerns. In 2018, some of the primary concerns raised related to isolation and loneliness, family, mental health or illness, physical health or illness, and relationship problems.

Suicidal feelings were expressed during 1 in 5 calls for help that involved emotional support.

Self-harm was discussed in around 1 in 10 calls for help that involved emotional support and in 1 in 4 of these contacts, the caller said they were talking to Samaritans to avoid self-harm.



One in three people who contact the Samaritans for support are struggling with loneliness or feelings of isolation.  John Downey, lead volunteer and Director for Limerick, said it is important for people to realise they can pick up the phone day or night and hear a caring voice. “Loneliness and isolation can strike anyone; loneliness can be felt even when surrounded by other people.” he said.

Loneliness can be felt even when surrounded by other people

  • Loneliness can be felt even when surrounded by other people


Volunteering at Night

The hours between 10pm and 2am are the hours of greatest need. These are the times when callers need Samaritans and Samaritans most need volunteers. Many of our callers are finding it difficult or impossible to get to sleep. Burdened by their fears and worries they call Samaritans for support, a safe place and for someone to listen to them in a confidential and non-judgemental way during their darkest hours.

Samaritans volunteer Tom Francis states, “We listen to people who are feeling suicidal. We listen to people with long-term mental health problems, to people who are fighting the urge to harm themselves, to people haunted by voices and to people who believe that malign forces are controlling their lives. We listen to people who have been sexually abused and to people who are still being abused. We listen to people who have been bereaved and people who have terminal illnesses. We listen to people whose relationships with their families, their co-workers or their employers have gone terribly wrong. We listen to people struggling with drugs or alcohol. Perhaps more than anything we listen to people who are profoundly lonely. Many of our callers fall into two, three or four of these categories.

Only since been trained by and becoming a volunteer for the Samaritans have I come to understand how much being listened to and feeling genuinely heard can ease these burdens.”


Volunteering on Christmas Day & New Year’s Eve

Volunteers offer up their time every day and night of the year and that goes for the festival season too. Depression, loneliness, stress, relationship issues and bereavement can be particularly acute at this time of the year. With most other supports shut for the Christmas period this is the time of the year when the Samaritans is more than just a helpline to people.

A Samaritan volunteer may be the only person that some people get to talk to until the new year.

  • Volunteers are available 24 hours a day at 116 123


UL Peer Listeners

Samaritans of Limerick in partnership with the UL Counselling Service began a student peer listener service in the University of Limerick in 2017. The scheme involves students being trained by the Samaritans to become “listeners”, providing an on campus service to their fellow students. The UL Peer Listener scheme was developed in recognition of the essential role students play in supporting and encouraging one another throughout their time at university.

In 2017, Dr Declan Aherne, clinical psychologist and head of counselling at the University of Limerick (UL) said that there is now a “tsunami” of students presenting with mental health problems. Based on figures received from UL Counselling, the number of students presenting at the service rose from 838 to 1,135 between 2012 and 2016. Samaritans recruited and trained 20 students graduating to become Peer Listeners in 2017 & 2018.

It is hoped that the UL Peer Listeners scheme will not only become an integral part of the support network in UL but also will act as a model for future partnerships between Samaritans Ireland and other third level institutions. UL students can contact if they need support.

  • UL Peer Listeners, Student support by students for students


Volunteers in Limerick Prison

Limerick Samaritans, in partnership with the Irish Prison Service (IPS) set up listener schemes in both the male and female sections of Limerick Prison in 2016. The scheme involves prisoners being trained by the Samaritans to become “listeners”, providing an in-prison service to their fellow inmates. The scheme has proven to be of great benefit to the prisoners, their families, staff and management at the prison.

The Director General of the IPS, Michael Donnellan, has said of the scheme “The Listener Scheme has proven itself to be an effective and necessary infrastructure in a prison setting.  It is an example of prisoners taking responsibility for their own healthcare and the needs of those who may be vulnerable in their community. Prison Governors have observed the positive impact which it has on both the prisoner in emotional distress and the Listener and I would like to see a listener programme running in all prisons.”


Local Partnerships

The success of our peer training has also led Limerick Samaritans to further work on replicating this successful partnership with LIT/LSAD, Direct Provision, Homeless Support, the HSE and Thurles based ‘Blue Door’ with Thurles Lions Club.


Raising awareness in the community

We are constantly working to promote a better understanding in society of suicide, suicidal behaviour and the value of expressing feelings which may otherwise lead to suicide or impaired emotional health. To this end, where possible, we offer talks and training in schools, businesses and to various community groups.


Workplace training

Workplace training is a growing aspect of Samaritans work, in 2016 the ESRI found that 18% of workplace absences were attributable to work-related stress, anxiety, and depression (SAD).

Our dedicated team delivers communication training to give staff the tools, knowledge and confidence to engage with vulnerable people sensitively and professionally. In addition, we provide resilience and wellbeing training that provides individuals with techniques that support their emotional wellbeing in their private or work life.

  • 18% of workplace absences were attributable to work-related stress, anxiety, and depression 


If you would like to volunteer with us

Office: or call 0877101572






Samaritans - Limerick & Tipperary news