It has been four years since the death of one of the country’s most prolific songwriters, Chip Lips, who was found dead in his Dublin home on May 5, 2017.
In an interview with The Irish Examiner, Chip’s son and the writer’s daughter of the Irish pop singer and songwriter Chip O’Donnell, Tessa, said that he died in a “natural” death at home.
“He was found by his wife in her bedroom, he was wearing only his boxer shorts and nothing else,” Tessa said.
“She had never seen him before.”
His wife went upstairs and opened the door to see that he was gone.
The coroner was called and they told her that he had taken his own life.
“She went upstairs, rang the ambulance and he was taken to hospital.”
The family has been informed and the coroner will now be deciding what the cause of death is.
“It’s been really hard for us to process what happened,” Tessie said.
“The coroner has said she’ll make a recommendation on what she thinks about the cause, but I don’t know what the final verdict will be.”
I have no idea what will be decided.
“In a statement, the National Party’s Minister for Social Protection, Helen Cooney, said: “It is tragic that Chip’s death could have been so easily avoided, but his legacy lives on through his songs and work.
“My heart goes out to the family of Chip and the countless others who have lost their lives to mental illness and drug addiction in recent years.”
They are a testament to the resilience of the community and to the need for our Government to act and tackle the problem.”‘
A miracle’Chip’s son, Tanya, who is also a singer and composer, said the family had been left in shock.”
We didn’t think he was going to be here, but the more we thought about it, the more he seemed to have a life,” she said.
She said she had been in touch with her father’s family, but had been unable to speak to them until they told the family.”
Chip’s daughter [Tessa] had a very sad time last year, but it was also a miracle,” Tanya said.”[It] is so sad that he could have taken his life, but in a way it’s good because we’re all very lucky.
“There are so many good people that were affected by mental health problems and this is just one of them.”
Every family has a story to tell.
The hardest thing is the one that you don’t tell.
“Tessa said that she and her father had spoken on the phone regularly in recent months, but that she had not yet met Chip’s daughter.”
If I knew her, I would tell her to keep his love for the world and his music alive, and to be happy and healthy,” she added.
Tessa added that the family would continue to support each other and their music, which they had written together.”
People don’t need to be afraid to talk about their mental health,” she concluded.”
To those who’ve been affected by a mental health issue or substance use, to those who have struggled with mental health, there is hope and support.