Ireland is seeing a rise in suicide as people face financial trouble due to the recession.
Last week Martin Blake, a businessman who helped to develop the Tynagh Energy Power Plant in Galway, shot himself in the fields of his home near Navan, Co Meath. The 57-year-old was one of the investors who borrowed money from the Anglo Irish Bank.
Another investor, property developer John O’Dolan from Galway, committed suicide last year, and eight business people from Athy, Greystones and Dublin took their lives all in the same day last month.
The Irish Property Council believes that the number of suicides is set to increase, and claimed that 29 people suffering in the collapse of the property business took their own lives last month.
"There are financial difficulties, yes, but there are other difficulties such as the danger of losing the family home, the loss of self-esteem on losing a job," Dan Neville, the Fine Gael TD and president of the Irish Association of Suicidology told the Irish Independent. "Financial difficulties create tension in families, and contribute to marriage breakdowns.”
Business tycoon Noel Smyth, a co-founder of the charity 3Ts (Turn the Tide of Suicide), is hoping to help by launching a campaign in September to establish a “suicide authority.”
"We have no proper statistics on suicide, but we estimate that at least two people a day are taking their own lives. We need to have an intervention system or more and more people are going to die," said Smyth.
The 3Ts suicide helpline receives nearly 4,000 calls a month.
Smyth said, "Of those calls, we estimate that up to 60 per cent of the callers are at high risk of taking their lives. They're at the point of suicide ideation. In other words, they've gotten to the point where they may have decided on a date and even a time when they're going to take their lives. Some of them have collected tablets and some are even driving around with ropes in the boots of their cars with which they intend to hang themselves.”
Last year, the suicide rate increased by 25 percent.
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