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Suicide – a national crisis

22 May, 2013 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams this morning described the issue of suicide as “a national crisis which requires a national all-island response”.

Speaking in the Dáil this morning the Louth TD pointed out that, “every year more than 1000 citizens lose their lives to suicide across this island – in my own constituency of Louth there were 16 suicides in 2011.”

The Louth TD also welcomed the Tánaiste’s support in the Dáil this morning for greater co-operation on al all-island basis.

Teachta Adams said:

“Monday saw the publication of a report by the 3Ts (Turn the Tide of Suicide) charity ‘Suicide in Ireland 2003-08.’ It makes for grim reading.

“It found that the actual number of citizens dying by suicide each year is significantly greater than official figures. In 2011 government statistics said that 525 people died by suicide. The 3T’s report puts that figure at 722.

“The 3Ts report also reveals the startling fact that one child under 18 years of age dies by suicide every 18 days! And the Irish state has the fourth highest youth suicide rate in Europe and that rate is increasing.

“It is very clear that Government’s strategies to tackle suicide are not working. Suicide prevention is under resourced.

“The impact of suicide across the island is dreadful. When you add up the figures for 2011 we see that over 1000 citizens died that year as a consequence of suicide on this island. The figure for road deaths for the same period was 245. Despite this huge gap in deaths suicide does not secure the same level of investment and resources that is put into safety on the roads.

“The reality is that there is an island wide – national emergency – in respect of suicide and it requires an island wide national response.

“I believe that there should be an island wide independent suicide prevention agency – on the same lines as the Road Safety Authority in the south – bringing together the resources of each state under one over-arching agency to develop and oversee a strategy could reduce the numbers of suicide. I welcome the Tánaiste’s support for this in the Dáil this morning.”


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