Suicide -
A Few Points

Dear Editor,

Dear Editor,

Please excuse my encroacning so quickly again on your space. But, as I have reason to have a keen interest in the suicide issue, the related Noel Dundon and Peg Hanafin articles this week (January 17) got my attention. May I briefly make two points?

One is that, though even one suicide is one too many, in fact annually about 99.99 per cent of us don’t so choose to die. For some reason, suicide specialists refer to, say, 15 per 100,000 of the population instead of 00.015 per cent of the population. The former figure helps to spread the inaccurate “they’re all at it” impression that prompts some vulnerable people to so choose.

The second is a related point. Suicide specialists ask only why the 00.01 per cent succumbed to the pressures that Peg details at length. They might also ask why 99.99 per cent of us didn’t so succumb. If they searched enough they would find that we were helped greatly by four major factors to which they never refer. The 00.01 per cent would also have been so helped if, as they should have been, they had been told about them.

For now I’ll leave it at that, as explaining those four major factors - they exist in Thurles and elsewhere - properly would encroach too much on your space.

Joseph F. Foyle,


Dublin 6