There is an appalling rate of suicide in Ireland.
The victims in general fall into two categories – young males and elderly males.
The reasons for suicide are many but I would contend that there are two main causes – loneliness and hopelessness.
In the middle of the last decade, suicide rates amongst the elderly in the rural parts of Ireland saw a frightening increase. This was as predictable as the sunrise. Elderly bachelors and widowers relied on the local pub as a meeting place, where they had a chance to socialise and have a pint, a smoke and a chat. But then the Nanny State stepped in and not only banned smoking but restricted drinking to a level where our elderly were condemned to sit at home in isolation.
At last someone is doing something about this. The Healy Raes are proposing an exemption in rural areas. Much as I dislike the Healy Raes, they at least recognise that the problem exists. Naturally the Puritans are wringing their hands in anguish and screaming that this is bringing Ireland back into the Dark Ages and are predicting carnage on the roads. “Let them drink tea” they cry. “Let the Puritans try living on their own in an isolated rural area” I cry. Fuck them.
Even if they get their exemptions they are still forced outside for a smoke. Hardly an ideal place to spend an evening at this time of year if you are elderly? But then who cares about the elderly lust so long as we are “sending out the right message” about smoking?
Towards the end of the decade, the suicide rate amongst the young started to soar. I can’t say I blame ‘em. Unemployment shot up and the only reason it has declined very slightly is because so many are emigrating. Because the only prospect for the youth of today is unemployment or emigration. The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Quite honestly if I were young and just starting out I would be tempted to top myself – what does the future hold for me? The gubmint just keeps waffling on about “green shoots” and how “the recession is over” but they still continue to bleed the country dry leaving no hope of recovery for years to come. The youth of today have been consigned to the bin in the name of “fiscal rectitude” and our “reputation abroad”. Fat lot of fuck good a reputation is to an unemployed graduate?
Of course, there is a “Report”.
Isn’t there always a fucking “Report”?
The Report suggests that the best way to tackle suicide is to remove the means.
Christ on a fucking bike!
The best they can suggest is to try to remove the means of committing suicide? There is nothing there about tackling the root causes. No mention of how the country should put the people before German banks? No suggestion that giving people real hope might stop them wanting to off themselves? No suggestions about some form of counselling?
We must fence off high areas. We must limit access to pesticides and painkillers. We must make gas non-toxic. Maybe there is some way of banning anything that could be tied in a knot?
It is just typical of this Godforsaken land that whenever there is a problem then the solution has to lie in laws and restrictions.
I give up.
Pass me the carving knife.