From the outset, I said I would make suicide a central concern of my Presidency if elected. During the course of the campaign, I have learned from the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD, that President McAleese recently held a seminar in the Aras on this issue.
I would build on this work and hope to take a report to both houses of the Oireachtas so that the National Parliament (Oireachtas), of which the President is part, will collectively address this issue with priority. The real number of deaths by suicide each year in Ireland is nearer to 600, 150 more than the official statistics record. This is equivalent to two large plane loads of our people each year.
The President is sworn to persue the welfare of the people. This is why I will make the issue of suicide a priority.