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Mary Harney playing with people's lives

17 January, 2008

Barry McColgan, National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin has accused Mary Harney of playing with people's lives over her recent decision to freeze the budget of the National Office for Suicide Prevention at the 2007 level.

Mr McColgan said:

"This is disgraceful especially coming after Bertie Ahern's offensive remarks in the summer; it demonstrates the attitude of the Dublin Government to Suicide Prevention."

"Suicide is the biggest killer of our young people in Ireland, it goes without saying that suicide prevention demands urgent government action and increased funding. This very dangerous move from the 26 County Minister for Health and Children sends out a message that the Dublin Government are quite content at Ireland's current high level of suicide incidence."

"If this decision is not overturned, not only are lives being put at risk but the community and support groups at the coalface in dealing with suicide are being forced to scale down their noble operations."

"Ógra Shinn Féin are demanding that Mary Harney overturn this ridiculous decision and instead of paying lip service to this national tragedy, she should increase funding significantly."

"In our youth election manifesto we set many key demands on this issue, including the 'Mental Health Act 2001' be fully implemented. We again re-iterate our demands and we will continue to campaign on this most vital of issues." Crioch

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