Firearms, hanging, and drowning suicides in the Republic of Ireland
Sarma, K. & Kola, S.
Background: The firearms climate in Ireland is rapidly changing, and there is currently no research on the risk profiles of those dying through firearms suicides. Aims: To compare the sociodemographic profile of firearms suicide deaths with hanging and drowning suicides. Methods: Analyses are based on data for 9,674 suicides that occurred between 1980 and 2005 and provided by the Central Statistics Office of Ireland (CSO). Risk factors included were gender, place of residence, employment status (agri-employed/not agri-employed), marital status, and age. Results: Those dying by shooting were twice as likely to be male than those dying by hanging (95% CI = 1.5 to 2.6) and 6.7 times more likely than those dying by drowning (95% CI = 4.9 to 9.1). They were also more likely to have resided in a rural location (hanging OR = 3.8, 95% CI = 2.8 to 5.0; drowning OR = 4.2, 95% CI = 3.1 to 5.6) and to have been agri-employed (hanging OR = 1.3, 95% CI = 1.1 to 1.6; drowning OR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.1 to 1.7). Firearms suicides were significantly younger (H = 458.9, p < .0005). Model fit statistics from logistic regressions are presented. Factors included in the study were limited to those recorded by the CSO. Conclusions: The findings have implications for awareness training for suicide prevention workers and for those concerned with Ireland's increasingly liberal firearms climate.