City fire crews deal with one suicide a week over recessionTRAUMA: Victims are getting younger

Geraldine Gittens

A DUBLIN firefighter has revealed there has been a huge rise in suicides since the recession hit.

The officer, who wishes to remain anonymous, says financial worries, marriage break-ups and custody battles are contributing to the tragic carnage across the city.

He said firefighters used to be called to a suicide scene every month a few years ago -- now it is common for officers to attend one every week.

The shocking tragedies include teenagers and young men and two recent hangings took place in public -- one in a city park, and one from a street lamppost.

The fire source revealed: "We're finding that there's a huge increase in suicides and attempted suicides. And it's very difficult for the families. They discover that the person is missing or not at home and they walk into the bedsit and the apartment, or the wife returns home from work and finds her spouse hanging.


"We're called to a lot more attempted suicides with tablets, hanging and self-harm.

"The age profile is getting younger, with teenagers and guys in their late twenties hanging themselves."

Recently, a stressed fireman in Phibsborough confided to colleagues that he had called to three separate suicides in one week -- but sadly each one was found too late.

"I can't imagine what it felt like for him going home afterwards. By the time we arrive it really is an emotional scene.

"A lot of the family and friends could have been called in the meantime and they're all waiting outside while we work on the person.

"But, unfortunately with suicides, the majority of times our attempts to resuscitate the person are unsuccessful because the person could have done it in the morning and not be found until the spouse comes home from work at 6pm.

"The families are so shocked that all they can do is dial 999 and blurt out the address. They can't speak."

But the fire officer says in the long term, it's therapeutic for families to see their relative being given every help from the emergency services. I think it is important. It really does help the family to process the information and it helps with the healing process afterwards to know that everything was done for their loved one," he added.