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Fundraiser For the Family of Sunnysider Who Took His Own Life

Dec. 10, 2012 By Bill Parry

On Sunday December 16th, a fundraiser will be held for the family of Paul O’Shaughnessy at Sidetracks (45-08 Queens Blvd.) from noon until midnight.

O’Shaughnessy was a popular Sunnyside resident who took his own life in September at the age of 44. He left behind his wife, Susan, and four children ages 6-16.

On a Facebook page posted last week– called O’Shaughnessy Family Fund — the details of what drove Paul O’Shaugnessy to take his life were divulged publicly for the first time. The family-approved page states that he was in the midst of a depressive episode that was mishandled by police and hospital personnel.

The family also claims that O’Shaughnessy was improperly charged by police for felony weapons possession for holding a knife to his own throat. He was then kept away from his family and faced jail time, which drove him to hang himself.  A lawsuit was filed last Friday against the NYPD, Elmhurst Hospital and EMS/FDNY.

A close friend of the family says that Susan, Paul’s wife of 20 years, had been very protective of the family’s right to privacy, but decided to go public because of persistent rumors.

Sunnyside’s Irish community has put together the Dec. 16 fundraiser, which will include live music, Irish dancers, raffles and auctions.

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I think a Full Investigation needs to be done, if it hasn’t already before we all jump to conclusions. In time facts may surface that might help explain or clarify some more about what happened to this man.
And regardless of what is been said now by one person or another, or what may or may not be the expectations of the Family and all concerned, we must not forget a Man lost his life, and his frtiends and family will be effected greatly I am sure.
So lets keep the comments at least respectful ,even if you don’t agree with the fundraiser and the lawsuit. And as for the Community being there for him, people who suffer from depression , problems etc, don’t always share with others. And many people commit suicide and shock those around them. It cannot be foretold or predicted.

It's all True

I know several people who took their lives when they were facing financial problems. Nobody should feel driven to despair and hopelessness. I hope people help their friends in need as mush as possible and recognize when they are having mental/emotional health issues.

Elizabeth the Thwarter

Paul was a lovely man: a real gentleman, regardless of his troubles. The fundraiser represents the community in Sunnyside that I’ve come to cherish as a relative newcomer (11 years). Some of the commenters in this thread, the neighborhood could do without.

Woodside Mom

So sad that some of the commenters feel they should chime in on a situation they most likely know nothing about. If you don’t want to take part in the fundraiser – don’t. And don’t act like you know anything about how the Irish community supports its own – a huge crowd of Irish went to the Rockaways a few Saturdays ago to help out people there and are going again this Saturday. Personally, I hope this Sunday’s fundraiser is a big success.

You all make me laugh

Ah… The good old lawsuit! A/K/A let’s try to make a positive out of a horrible situation.


Sorry for anyone who feels compelled to take his own life but this public “begging” for money gets a bit much after a while. There obviously is more to this story but if they were so quick to file a lawsuit then I will send my money to help local sandy victims and let their lawsuit provide them financial compensation


So sorry for the family and friends. From personal experience, it’s incredibly important for the children, in particular, to feel supported by the community after this kind of tragedy. Of course it’s too late to help their father, (which is heartbreaking for everyone involved,) but the kids have their whole lives ahead where they will struggle to make sense of this. To the community- keep up the support, emotional, financial, and everything in between.


Tommy “hung” himself too. I believe these were not self inflicted, the same way David Carradine’s killer is still out there.


Yeah sure, let’s get together AFTER the guy kills himself (or apparent suicide). Where was the “irish community” when he had problems? “Hold on, let me finish this beer, I’ll look into it”.

Annie D

Very sad. Bill, do you think you can fix the facebook link? It doesn’t seem to open the right page. Thanks.


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