Suicide rates in Northern Ireland have doubled since the signing of the Good Friday peace agreement in 1998, new research has revealed. Queen’s University in Belfast found suicide levels have soared since the end of the Troubles, though the deaths are occurring among those who grew up during the worst years of violence. Social upheaval was said to have caused “mass medication” through anti-depressants, alcohol and illegal drug use, while aggression that was once widespread in the divided society has become more internalised.
Now suicide is a serious business and I wonder what has caused this increase post the Belfast Agreement? A lot of young men seem to kill themselves but I am very unsure that there can be a causal link. I grew up through the worst of the terrorism and I can’t see how people would feel any worse post the BA, UNLESS of course the sheer immorality of it has impacted them. But I don’t really think that is the case. It may well be that we would have seen this increase in suicided anyway and the timeline picked for analysis is purely coincidental? Like a lot of academic research, it should be treated with great concern.