Press Release

Minister O´Malley Officially Opens the Irish Association of Suicidology Conference

Mr. Tim O´Malley T.D., Minister for State at the Department of Health and Children today (20 September, 2003) officially opened the 8th Annual Conference of the Irish Association of Suicidology in Limerick. The theme of the conference is Suicide and Older People. “Since its foundation in 1996, the Irish Association of Suicidology has done much to help promote public awareness of suicide and suicidal behaviour, especially through the organisation of conferences and workshops” the Minister said.

In his address, the Minister referred to the high incidence of suicidal behaviour in Ireland and the impact of suicide on family and friends. He said “A suicide at any age is a tragic and shattering occurrence that not only brings a life to an untimely end but also has a devastating impact on family and friends. I would like to assure you all that the Government shares the public concern about the level of suicides in this country.”

“It is a worrying trend and we are fully committed to the further implementation of suicide prevention initiatives and the further development of our mental health services in order to reduce premature loss of life” the Minister added.

The Minister noted that over €13m in total has been provided since 1999 for suicide prevention activities following the publication of the Report of the Task Force on Suicide. This year an additional €0.655m has been allocated for suicide prevention programmes in the health boards and towards research aimed at improving our understanding of suicide and parasuicide.

The Minister paid tribute to the organisers of the conference. He acknowledged the important work undertaken by the Irish association of Suicidology and wished them continued success.