[Sinn Fein]

1st May 2002

Suicide Remarks Ill informed and Inaccurate

Cork North Central Candidate Jonathan O Brien today said that Jim McDaid's remarks on the motives of people who commit suicide were inaccurate and hurtful.

Jonathan O'Brien said:

``As someone who has a little knowledge on the subject of suicide, due to direct experience, I find the remarks of Dr Mc Daid hurtful and disgraceful. They are more harmful because they were made when he was a serving minister.

Suicide is one of the biggest killers of young people in Ireland today. It is a big problem in Cork. The terrible pit of darkness that people go into before they commit suicide is overwhelming and cannot be described as selfish.

People with depression need compassion and care. Guilt trip type reaction likes that of Dr Mc Daid is wholly unsuitable.

As a person with a high public and influential profile, Dr Mc Daid would be better off promoting discussion on the subject. He could also use his influence to ensure that resources are provided for wonderful groups like AWARE . AWARE, with very little resources, is dealing in a preventative way by raising awareness in colleges, schools and youth groups about the dangers of depression.''

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