County has highest suicide rate outside of large urban centres

Published 09/06/2016 | 00:00

322 people have been recorded as having died by suicide in the county since 2000.

Figures released by the Central Statistics Office on Tuesday reveal that County Wexford has among the highest number of deaths by suicide in the country annually outside of the large urban centres of Dublin, Cork and Galway.

The figures for 2013 show 16 deaths by suicide, 33 deaths by suicide in 2012 and 29 deaths by suicide in 2011, the highest figure nationally outside of Dublin and Cork that year.

Provisional figures based on death registrations for 2014 show 24 deaths by suicide in the county and the number of people who took their own lives in 2015 is provisionally recorded as 14.

In 1980 two deaths by suicide were recorded in the county, compared to 33 in 2012 at the height of the recession.

Considerably more men than women die by suicide in the county. 370 men died by suicide in County Wexford between 1980 and 2013 and 118 women died by suicide in the county in the same period.

Between 1980 to 2013, 311 deaths are recorded in County Wexford as a result of mental and behavioural disorders. In 1980 there were no deaths recorded by the Central Statistics Office in the mental and behavioural disorders category, but in 2012, 37 deaths were recorded.

25 deaths from alcohol abuse have been recorded since 1980 in the county and 18 deaths by drug dependence have been recorded.

The number of deaths recorded as suicides in the county remained in single digit figures throughout the 1980s up until 1990 when 11 people died by suicide.

The peak in the 1990s came in 1997 when 21 Wexford people took their own lives. Figures have remained in the double digits throughout the Nougthies, rising to a record high of 33 in 2012, right up to the present day.

The county has witnessed some heartbreakingly tragic deaths, including the deaths of Sharon Grace and her daughters in 2005, the deaths of the Dunne family in Monageer in 2007 and the Flood family in Clonroche in 2008.

Kay Quinn of Enniscorthy based support group Touched by Suicide, who lost two sons to suicide, said she was very surprised to learn of the high incidence of suicide in the county, adding that the government needs to wake up to the problem and provide funding.

Ms Quinn said: 'It was bad in 1999 when I lost my first son James and in 2005 when I lost my son Harry who was a fire fighter in Enniscorthy and nothing has changed since.'

Wexford People

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