New statistics show a slight decline in the suicide rate in Ireland as experts warn that the recession will continue to drive people to take their own lives.

Over a hundred people took their own lives in the first three months of 2013.

The disturbing figures are included in new findings released by the Central Statistics Office.

The CSO has published its latest figures for births, deaths and marriages for the first quarter of 2013.

The Irish Independent reports that the report shows suicide as a cause of death for 103 people, down from 113 in the same period last year.

The report says males made up 85 per cent of those who took their own lives with 80 per cent of the deaths among people between the ages of 15 and 54. People under the age of 24 accounted for 13 deaths by suicide.

Ciaran Austin, a director of suicide-prevention charity Console, told the paper that he welcomed a slight fall in the recorded number of people taking their own lives.

But he warned that the recording of deaths by suicide needed to be reviewed.

He said: “It is neither timely, nor accurate.”

The Console group has raised concerns about the numbers of deaths being recorded as ‘undetermined’, which comes to 12 in the latest figures.

Austin added: “In order that services, agencies or communities are able to respond in a more comprehensive manner, we need earlier identification of suicide trends or clusters.

“Trends of suicides among men and in the 15-54 age group should further motivate communities, agencies and services alike to build on their collaborative and targeted approaches to suicide-prevention initiatives in Ireland.”

The paper reports on other key CSO figures including:

- Some 17,563 births were registered – a decrease of 9 per cent on the corresponding quarter of 2012.

- A total of 3,642 marriages were registered, an increase of 815 on the same period last year.

- Fingal in Dublin recorded the highest birth rate of 19.6 per 1,000 population, while Donegal had the lowest at 11.4 per 1,000.

- A total of 6,406 births (36.5 per cent) were registered as outside marriage with the highest percentage, 58 per cent, in Limerick city.

- There were eight births to girls aged 15 or younger.

- A total of 8,347 deaths were registered including 55 infant deaths, a rate of 3.1 deaths per 1,000 live births.

- The natural increase in the population for the first three months of the year was 9,216 and the average age of a woman giving birth was 32.1 years.

- A total of 52 civil partnerships were registered, with legislation allowing gay people to enter into civil partnerships first introduced at the start of 2011.

- Of the deaths, 33.5 per cent (2,797), were due to circulatory disease and 27.3 per cent (2,275) were attributed to cancers.

- Eight people died from tuberculosis, five died from meningitis, and four people died from AIDS.

- Ten deaths were recorded as homicide while 202 people died from accidents, including road deaths, falls and poisoning.

Experts predict that up to 1000 people will have committed suicide in 2013Google Images