herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Property downturn led to 130 suicides

ALMOST 130 people involved in the construction industry here are estimated to have died by suicide since the property crash.

The Irish Property Council said last year that it counted 29 suicides by property developers and construction workers.

But industry sources said that at least another 100 have taken their lives since then.

"This is like cancer was 10 years ago -- it has been hushed up," they said.

"We need to understand as a society and respect others' mental health. It's not wrong.

"Anecdotally speaking, there have been another 100 people at least.

"The idea of a property developer goes far beyond what people imagine.

"A property developer could be someone who bought a second home, an investment property or holiday let, but it is the amateur investors who are suffering the most.

"If you owe €100,000, the bank will chase you more than if you owe millions."

The figures have emerged as charity Aware, which assists thousands suffering from depression, said calls to its helpline in 2010 jumped by 7pc.

"There has been a marked increase in the number of calls from people who were worried about finance," a spokesman for Aware said.

"People have a fear about the loss of their jobs and are in a difficult financial situation."

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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