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'He's gone and he needn't have been gone': Mick Wallace gives impassioned speech about suicide

Wexford, where the TD is from, has the highest suicide rate in the country.

Mick Wallace
Mick Wallace
Image: Screengrab/Oireachtas.ie

MICK WALLACE HAS asked for more funding for mental health services in Wexford, which has the highest suicide rate in the country.

Speaking in the Dáil today, the Independents 4 Change TD said he doesn’t “personalise” the issue or “blame any one minister”. However, he said action must be taken.

He spoke about a man he “had a pint with … a few weeks before he died”, adding: “He’s gone and he needn’t have been gone.”

Wallace also said he’s aware of a 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl who died by suicide in Wexford in the last month.

“The people of Wexford will tell you that the services are not there for them, they’re watching young people die. There isn’t the help that they need there for them.

“Wexford has the highest suicide rate in the country, there’s a serious problem … something has to give,” he stated. 

‘We have to take action’

Responding, junior minister Finian McGrath said he accepted what Wallace was saying, noting that the suicide rate in Wexford in recent years has been 11.1 per 100,000 of the population, while the national average is 8.8 per 100,000.

I absolutely totally agree with you that we have to do something in relation to this particular issue, and the fact that you mentioned a 13-year-old an a 15-year-old actually makes the other situation even worse.

McGrath said he would raise the issue with Jim Daly, Minister of State for Mental Health, adding that the Department of Health and HSE “will continue to enhance the policies and services to reduce the incidence of suicide in ireland”.

“We have to take action, suicide is a very serious problem, we can’t afford to be losing young people,” McGrath stated. 

Need help? Support is available:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 1800 247 247 or email mary@pieta.ie (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

A list of HSE and HSE-funded services can be found here

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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