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Sunday 18 February 2018

Call for barriers to stop pier suicides


Local authorities and the Department of Agriculture and Marine should look at ways to prevent people driving their cars off piers in suicide attempts, a former local election candidate has said.

Jimmy Guerin, a resident in Howth, was speaking after a 23-year-old mother of two drove her car off Howth Pier on Wednesday, killing herself.

Mr Guerin said she was the second person to take her life in this way over the past eight weeks, bringing to nine the number who have committed suicide at the pier in the past three years. He added that his calls for the erection of barriers had gone unheeded.

The woman, who drove off the pier in mid-afternoon in front of bystanders, was the 12th person to commit suicide since the new year.

Some of the worst and most tragic suicides have involved people driving off piers. In October 2000, Kilkenny man Stephen Byrne drove off Duncannon Pier in Wexford killing himself and his two sons Alan, 10, and Shane, six. Mr Byrne had earlier stabbed his wife Maeve to death after discovering she'd had a brief affair with another man.

There are between 500 and 600 suicides annually and 150 to 200 people drown each year, with a large majority of these deaths being suicides.

Sunday Independent

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