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Suicide in Ireland: a cross-national view

  • David Lester (a1)

Recent epidemiological trends in Irish suicide rates were examined and found to be consistent with worldwide trends. However, the time-series Irish suicide rate was not consistent with predictions made from Durkheim's classic theory of suicide. Finally, current theories of the etiology of suicide were used to derive a linear regression equation to predict the Irish suicide rate which turned out to be quite inaccurate.

The task addressed in this article is a review of the epidemiology of suicide in Ireland and, in doing so, the suicide rate in Ireland will be compared with the suicide rates of other nations of the world. Table 1 reports the suicide rate in Ireland from 1901 to 1949, Table 2 for the period 1950–2001, overall and for men and women (and parallel data for Northern Ireland are shown in Table 3). These data were compiled from Lester and Yang and from World Health Organisation publications and online ( It should be noted that suicide was decriminalised in Ireland in 1993.

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Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0790-9667
  • EISSN: 2051-6967
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