A councillor called for Tipperary Co. Council to appoint its own suicide prevention officer when two HSE representatives gave a presentation to the local authority's recent monthly meeting in Clonmel about the county's new suicide prevention and self-harm plan.
Sinn Fein Cllr David Doran issued the call and argued that it shouldn't just be the HSE that is involved in suicide prevention given the scale of the country and county's suicide problem.
The Thurles councillor envisaged a Council suicide prevention officer would link up with the HSE's suicide prevention resource officers for the county, namely Tracy Nugent and Mary Kennedy, who gave the presentation to the Council meeting on the "Connecting for Life - suicide prevention and self harm strategy for South and North Tipperary.
Director of Community & Economic Development Strategy Sinead Carr said Cllr Doran's proposal was well meaning but suicide prevention was beyond the Council's expertise. She said Ms Nugent and Ms Kennedy were already fulfilling this role for South and North Tipperary respectively and the Council was engaging with them.
During a comprehensive debate on the issue of suicide at the Council meeting, Clonmel Cllrs Catherine Carey (SF) and Pat English (WUAG) criticised the closure of the 32-bed St Michael's Acute Psychiatric Unit in Clonmel and claimed the loss of this facility had cost lives to suicide.