Suicide epidemic in Offaly

“SUICIDE is epidemic in Offaly,” Councillor Sinead Dooley told Monday’s meeting of Offaly Joint Policing Committee.

“SUICIDE is epidemic in Offaly,” Councillor Sinead Dooley told Monday’s meeting of Offaly Joint Policing Committee.

The meeting heard Ms Niamh Dowler, Community Support Worker, state that events were planned for Tullamore, Edenderry, Birr and Clara.

On the proposal of Cllr Sinead Moylan-Ryan, it was agreed to add Ferbane to the list, after she highlighted the level of suicide there and in the nearby Belmont and Clonmacnois areas.

Ms Dowler earlier reported on a recent meeting between Offaly Community Forum and representatives of Community Alert and Neighbourhood Watch groups, under the umbrella of Community Watch.

She outlined initiatives to have text alerts about anti-social behaviour, a mobile CCTV system, smoke alarms for over-65s and said they would seek funds for more public lights.

Ms Dowler also referred to plans by girls from Tullamore’s Sacred Heart School to hold a mental health awareness day on Good Friday in Charleville estate.

Cllr John Leahy welcomed plans to gear suicide awareness programmes to young people and asked if there was a database of older people.

Cllr Dooley said that suicide was ‘no longer just in a certain gender or age bracket’, while Cllr Danny Owens highlighted the importance of security alarms for older people.

In reply, Ms Dowler stressed the importance of awareness of mental health and said that while there was no database of older people, Gardaí and public health nurses had lists.

Mr Frank Moran suggested the organisation Pobail be approached for funds.