Suicide rate in south Kerry on the rise again, warns coroner

Coroner urges people to seek help after five of seven inquests this week were suicides

Last year, eight suicides occurred in south Kerry but so far this year there have been nine.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Last year, eight suicides occurred in south Kerry but so far this year there have been nine. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Suicide figures in south Kerry are on the increase again, coroner Terence Casey has warned, as he urged people contemplating taking their own lives to seek help from suicide prevention agencies.

Five of the seven inquests before him this week were suicides, including a 28-year-old Slovak national who took his own life in Kenmare in May after he became depressed about his inability to get work.

Last year, eight suicides occurred in south Kerry but so far this year there have been nine. Most are men, but alcohol has played a direct role in just one case.

Visibly upset by the cases before him, Mr Casey said suicide was “a plague”. People who take their own lives did not realise the effect upon family and friends: “They don’t realise the pain and suffering they leave behind them.”

At this week’s inquests, four of the five people who took their own lives were male; all but one of the suicides occurred in May; two of the five had a history of depression, and those who died ranged in age from 28 to 63 years.

One inquest dealt with the death of a 36-year-old Waterville woman in late June. She was found after she failed to turn up for dinner at her parents’ house.

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A 39-year-old married east Kerry man, one with no history of depression, was found dead by his brother in early May, while a 63-year-old married man and father from near Cahersiveen took his own life after “going through a bad bout of depression”.

He rang a neighbour on the morning of his death to say “he was sorting it out”, prompting a frantic, but fruitless search by family, friends and gardaí. His son told the inquest he had been told in Tralee hospital he was over the worst of his depression.

If you or someone you know needs someone to talk to, contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.