Affected by any of the issues raised in this documentary? Please visit for helpline information.

It was a Monday morning in an Irish town.  Over a hundred commuters were gathered – heading to work and school. Then, there was a movement in the crowd. Some of them started shouting – they knew they were about to witness a tragic event. One woman folded her small son into her chest to shield his view.

The event took place.  A death. 

People cried, swore; some threw up, many trembled with shock. They dispersed.  Forgot about work and school or went in late. As the news spread through the town, the shock turned to anger for some: The very public nature of the tragedy was seen as cruel.

Then what happened?  What came afterwards for the commuters and the town?

A few days after the tragedy, the Documentary On One visited the town and spoke to those who had witnessed the tragedy as well as those who had to deal with the aftermath – friends, family, the emergency services.

How did it affect them?  Flashbacks, hallucinations, utter exhaustion. How did they respond to what they had seen?  Sadness, sympathy and then guilty relief that no-one belonging to them had died. How did they mind themselves?  Talking with other witnesses, taking exercise. And how did they care for each other?  Texting, sharing, organising a group event for support.

This is the wider, often overlooked, story of those who have witnessed a tragedy and who been affected by it.

If you wish to speak with someone about any issues raised in this documentary, please contact the Samaritans by calling freephone 116123 or by texting 087 260 9090 - or emailing

Further details available from

Since first broadcast, The Yellow Line has won a Gold Award at the 2019 New York Festivals Radio Awards and shortlisted in the top three at Headline's Mental Health Media Awards.

Produced by Ronan Kelly

First broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 on Saturday 22nd September 2018 @2pm

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.