MORE than 100 people took their own lives in Ireland in the first three months of the year, newly released figures reveal.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has published its latest figures for births, deaths and marriages for the first quarter of 2013.
The worrying numbers show suicide as a cause of death for 103 people, down from 113 in the same period last year.
Males made up 85pc of those who took their own lives and 80pc of the deaths were among people between the ages of 15 and 54. People under the age of 24 accounted for 13 deaths by suicide.
Ciaran Austin, director of suicide-prevention charity Console, welcomed a slight fall in the recorded number of people taking their own lives.
However, he said that the recording of deaths by suicide needed to be reviewed, saying it was "neither timely, nor accurate".
Console has previously raised concern about the numbers of deaths being recorded as "undetermined", which comes to 12 in the latest figures.
Mr Austin said: "In order that services, agencies or communities are able to respond in a more comprehensive manner, we need earlier identification of suicide trends or clusters."
He said trends of suicides among men and in the 15-54 age group "should further motivate communities, agencies and services alike to build on their collaborative and targeted approaches to suicide-prevention initiatives in Ireland".
Other CSO figures include:
* Some 17,563 births were registered – a decrease of 9pc on the corresponding quarter of 2012.
* A total of 3,642 marriages were registered, an increase of 815 on the same period last year.
* Fingal in Dublin recorded the highest birth rate of 19.6 per 1,000 population, while Donegal had the lowest at 11.4 per 1,000.
* A total of 6,406 births (36.5pc) were registered as outside marriage with the highest percentage, 58pc, in Limerick city.
* There were eight births to girls aged 15 or younger.
* A total of 8,347 deaths were registered including 55 infant deaths, a rate of 3.1 deaths per 1,000 live births.
* The natural increase in the population for the first three months of the year was 9,216 and the average age of a woman giving birth was 32.1 years.
* A total of 52 civil partnerships were registered, with legislation allowing gay people to enter into civil partnerships first introduced at the start of 2011.
* Of the deaths, 33.5pc (2,797), were due to circulatory disease and 27.3pc (2,275) were attributed to cancers.
* Ten deaths were recorded as homicide while 202 people died from accidents, including road deaths, falls and poisoning.
Console's 24-hour helpline can be reached on 1800 201 890.