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Thursday 23 March 2023 Dublin: 7°C
Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland
# Suicide
'We don't know the full extent of suicide numbers' - Limerick coroner
The coroner of west Limerick says that recording numbers of suicides ‘serves nobody’.

THE CORONER FOR west Limerick has said that recording the level of suicides ‘doesn’t serve anyone’.

Brendan Nix, who has served as coroner for the region since 2001, told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that the levels of suicide are ‘at contagion level’ across the country and that he doesn’t believe that the true number of suicides across the country is known.
“In 2008 in Limerick, we had 5 suicides recorded through the CSO in Limerick City, with 11 in the county. In 2009, the CSO had 7 in Limerick City and 17 in the county.

“Last year, the city was playing catch-up as we had 15 in the city and 16 in the county.

I feel myself that those figures are a little understated.

However, Nix said that while the law prevented coroners from recording suicide as an official verdict, he did not see the benefit in doing so.

“I direct a jury and make a finding in keeping with the evidence that I have. I have yet to find a pathologists report say that a person committed suicide.

“It may be asphyxiation due to a ligature around the neck. I record it as such and ask the jury to do the same.

Who does it serve to call the death of a person by his own hands suicide or by any other name? The reality is that there is a major problem in our society in that people are taking their own lives. You can call it suicide or you can call it what you like, but the reality is that who does it serve?  The reality is the great tragedy that exists,not only for the person or their family but for the wider community who see despair in their midst.

Nix, who is hosting a public meeting this Saturday at 9am in Limerick County Council HQ, rejected the idea that not reporting suicide stigmatises the issue.

“Who is stigmatised? The person who died or the family that is left. The great bewilderment for families is; did we do something, say something?

“They end up blaming themselves. What does calling it suicide do for them?”

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