Opinion Analysis

Sunday 17 December 2017

Patricia Casey: Are these teenage suicides new, or did we just hush them up before?

THE death by suicide last week of a girl aged 12 came as a further shock to the nation. In the wake of the suicides of two other girls aged 13 and 15 in recent months, questions are being asked as to why Irish society has become so cruel that these young people felt there was no other option but to end their lives.

Suicide in the 12-to-15 age group is very rare, currently no more than one or two a year at most for the total population. The fact that three have already occurred in a three-month period in 2012 is a source of great concern.

A fundamental question is whether similar deaths occurred in previous decades and were simply hushed up by families and coroners because of the shame such deaths might have brought to the families.

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