Cork and Limerick's suicide rates double rest of the country
CORK and Limerick cities are the suicide blackspots of Ireland with the rate of such tragedies twice as high as the rest of the country.
Some 507 people died by suicide in 2012 and over 80pc of these fatalities were men, a new report from the CSO shows.
Some 30 people took their own lives in Cork city and 15 in Limerick, giving suicide rates of over 25 per 100,000 – more than twice the national average of 11.
These rates were also markedly higher than in the county areas of Limerick and Cork, but this does not appear to be a distinctly urban phenomenon as the suicide rates in Dublin and Galway cities were in line with the national average.
Wexford also had a very high suicide rate, with 31 people taking their own lives last year.
The CSO's Vital Statistics report for 2012 shows that the suicide rate fell slightly from 525 the previous year, with 413 men dying in this way and 94 women.
On a happier note, births outnumbered deaths by over two to one, with 72,225 babies born in Ireland in 2012, compared with 28,848 deaths. But this did indicate a slight waning of the baby boom with 2,400 fewer births than the previous year.
The fertility rate fell slightly with the average woman now having 2.01 babies in her lifetime, which, though high by European standards, is below the 2.1 needed to replace the population.
The number of teenage births has nearly halved in the last decade – there were 1,639 babies born to teenagers in 2012 compared to 3,087 in 2001.
The HSE Crisis Pregnancy programme welcomed this drop which, they said, was due to better sex education.
"But it is also important not to be complacent – not all schools are delivering the RSE (Relationship and Sexuality Education) programme in senior cycle," said the HSE's Dr Kevin Kelleher.
Mothers continue to get older, with the average age at birth now 31.9 years – and the oldest mums in the country are in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown where they're 33.9 on average compared with Limerick city where they're 29.9
More couples also tied the knot last year with 21,425 marriages which was 1,366 more than the previous year.