Unspoken tragedy of the first casualty
• This week, after nine years of war, the United States finally withdrew its forces from Iraq. Using the term 'blood and treasure' US President Barack Obama described the war in Iraq as exceptionally costly.
Tens of thousands of Iraqis were killed in a conflict that cost the US a trillion dollars. During this period, the US military lost 4,484 young men and women in combat.
During the same period, from 2003 to 2011, Ireland lost 4,408 young men and women to suicide. Let me say that again. The US -- with a population of 300 million -- lost 4,484 men and women in combat in the war in Iraq. During the same period -- with a population of just 4.6 million -- Ireland has lost 4,408 men and women to suicide against the backdrop of our national banking and financial crisis.