Sep 11 2015 Posted: 14:25 IST

Report Suggests Galway had the highest number of suicides in Connacht in 2014, where some 64 suicides were recorded of which 54 were male


NUI Galway’s iconic Quadrangle lit up in orange as part of World Suicide Prevention Day on Thursday, 10 September, and as part of the national campaign ‘Cycle Against Suicide’ in collaboration with the UNESCO International Year of Light 2015 and Solus.

Iconic landmarks and buildings throughout the island of Ireland lit up orange to spread the message, "It's OK not to feel OK; and it's absolutely OK to ask for help”. In Galway the University’s Quadrangle, Fisheries Tower and Galway City Council were lit up in orange last Thursday night, fitted with colour-changing LED lights and special heat resistant colour filters.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) Vital Statistics yearly summary for 2014 suggests that there were 26 suicides recorded in Galway last year. That includes 18 in the county and eight in the city. All 18 of the suicides in the county in 2014 were men and five of the eight suicides in the city were men. Almost 90% of the suicides recorded in Galway last year were male and three of the Galway suicides were women. Galway had the highest number of suicides in Connacht, where some 64 suicides were recorded of which 54 were male.

Professor Martin J. Leahy, UNESCO Year of Light and School of Physics, NUI Galway commented, “It is estimated that there is one suicide every fortnight in Galway alone. This winter we had a young man who had jumped from the centre of Quincentennial Bridge in my lab recovering. He was fit enough to swim to shore in the worst of conditions, yet he felt he had nothing to live for. It is very sad. Suicide is a particularly difficult problem amongst students and we need to show our willingness to support and understand their difficulties. We felt compelled to support this initiative with our message of light and hope.”

Thousands of people across the 32 counties turned on a Solus orange lightbulb in their homes at 9pm on Thursday in unity, to share this positive and universal message. In support of lighting up buildings in orange, people were encouraged to ‘Go Orange’ in any way they could and shared selfies and pictures on social media using the hashtags #LetsGoOrange and #BreakTheCycle @CASuicide to spread the message.

For further information contact Gwen O’Sullivan, Press & Information Executive, NUI Galway on 091 495695 or gwen.osullivan@nuigalway.ie


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