Recent figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show an overall decrease in suicide rates across Ireland.
The provisional figure of 459 suicide deaths in 2015 shows an 18.6 per cent decline in the number of suicides in Ireland since the highest figure of 554 recorded in 2011.
However, according to these figures, suicide rates have actually increased across all regions in Ireland apart from Leinster, which is the most populated region in Ireland, resulting in a decrease of total suicides.
Compared with provisional rates from 2014, the suicide rate in Leinster dropped from 8.9 per 100,000 of population to 7.9 in 2015.
The regions of Munster, Connacht and Ulster all experienced increases in suicide when compared with figures from 2014, with rates of 12, 12.5 and 11.3 respectively.
Individual counties also displayed fluctuations from 2014 to 2015, with suicide rates reaching their highest figures in Waterford, Roscommon and Galway.
Laois and Mayo are among the areas with the lowest suicide rates recorded for 2015.
Gender and Age
Meanwhile, men remain the most likely to be vulnerable to suicide, with an average of 404.5 males committing suicide each year since 2001.
Of the 451 recorded suicides in 2015, 375 of these were men. This figure increased from 368 males in 2014.
Although it is often perceived that suicide is highest among young men, the figures show that men between the ages of 45 and 49 were more vulnerable to taking their own lives.
In the most recent finalised figures, which date back to 2013, the rate of suicide among younger men (aged 20 to 24) was 23.5 per 100,000 of population. This figure was exceeded by every age category between 45 and 64 for this particular year.
However, the rate of suicide among younger men is still above the national average.
The total number of female suicides recorded in 2015 decreased to 76 from 91, which was recorded in 2014.
The highest number of female suicides recorded was 120 in the year 2008 with the higher rates being linked to later stages in life.
Although suicide rates are less common among children aged 14 and under, to date, there has been a total of 43 cases of children in this age bracket taking their own lives.
According to the most recent figures that examine the link between suicide and economic factors (2013), higher rates of suicide appear to be linked with unemployment. However, there is no certain way to determine whether or not unemployment contributed to these any of the recorded suicide cases.
Occupation is not stated in a large number of recorded suicides, which prevents accurate interpretations of the link between employment and people taking their own lives.
Those deaths that are categorised by occupation are recorded under broad categories, such as ‘higher professionals’ and ‘skilled manual workers’, which makes it difficult to compare them in terms of the type of job.
The provisional figures used above are subject to change. The annual CSO suicide figures are usually published with a delay of two years or longer. The final data for suicide rates in Ireland for 2014 and 2015 are expected either in 2017 or 2018.