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Dozens of Irish developers have died by suicide since recession hit

The use of “terror” tactics by the banks has been blamed for rising psychiatric problems.

AT LEAST 29 Irish developers are known to have died by suicide since the beginning of the recession, which The Irish Property Council (IPC) has blamed on “aggressive” debt-recovery tactics being deployed by banks, reports the Irish Independent.

The IPC has explained how some people are “literally being hounded by banks who were fawning over them for business just four years ago”, and has added that Nama-bound developers and small contractors are being subjected to a reign of “terror” by banks.

Recently, a property developer who is believed to be amongst the top 150 borrowers bound for Nama has been admitted to a psychiatric facility, according to the Irish Independent.

The newspaper reports that the developer is being treated for a stress-related illness.

The death of Galway-based developer John O’Dolan last year, who sought psychiatric help just one day before he died, also highlights the disturbing pattern. O’Dolan had confided in friends and family about how he had been struggling with the debt-recovery process.

Speaking at his funeral, Fr Peter Finnerty said that O’Dolan has been under “immense stress and strain” before his death, and added:

In all my years of knowing John, he never once reneged on a deal or let a debt go unpaid.

I would like to ask the question … was John in any way singled out? Was he treated in any way unfairly that has brought us to this situation? I think it is a fair question to ask.

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The IPC says that Irish debt laws need to be revised. Reform of bankruptcy, insolvency and family home protection measures is needed, as well as a code of practice for debt collection, according to the council.

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