Sinn Féin health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said in the Dáil yesterday that the mortgage debt crisis is having a damaging effect on people’s mental health and is contributing to the rise in suicide rates.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said: “As a Dáil deputy working in my constituency and as my party’s health spokesperson I am very conscious of the serious impact of mortgage debt and consequent poverty on people’s health, especially mental health.
“CSO figures published this week show that the number of recorded suicides in this State rose to 525 in 2011, an increase of 7 per cent on the previous year. The record shows that 439 men and 86 women took their own lives in 2011.
“I have no doubt that the recession and the burden of debt on individuals was a significant factor in the increase. And these are only the recorded figures; the number of unrecorded suicides is much higher.
“People are struggling desperately to pay off the mortgage debts incurred because of outrageous house prices that were inflated by rapacious developers, property speculators, banks and irresponsible so-called regulators. This was the Fianna Fáil property bubble and its legacy is poverty.”