The British Journal of Psychiatry
Suicide in Dublin
I. The Under-reporting of Suicide and the Consequences for National Statistics


This study of suicide in Dublin during 1964-1968 from coroners' records was undertaken to estimate the discrepancy between coroners' verdicts, the national suicide statistics compiled from them and the clinical assessment of probability of suicide by psychiatrists examining the same records. The large difference in numbers of suicides deriving from the two approaches has considerable implications for national suicide statistics, and these have been briefly considered. From the findings presented we believe that we are justified in concluding that:

(a) there are real differences in national suicide rates, at least between Ireland, England and Wales, and Scotland, and

(b) the Irish suicide rate is low, though not as low as official statistics suggest, and

(c) the discrepancy between official and 'true' suicide rates in Ireland is greater than in England and Wales and in Scotland.