Durkan makes emotional Commons speech

Caption: �Matt Mackey/Presseye.com - Press Eye Ltd -Northern Ireland - 21st April 2010.''The SDLP launch its general election manifesto on Wednesday at Delta Packaging in West Belfast.'Mark Durkan.
Caption: �Matt Mackey/Presseye.com - Press Eye Ltd -Northern Ireland - 21st April 2010.''The SDLP launch its general election manifesto on Wednesday at Delta Packaging in West Belfast.'Mark Durkan.

Foyle MP Mark Durkan has been lauded for his moving contribution to a debate on suicide prevention this week at Westminster, amid new figures revealing that suicide rates here have risen by a staggering 100 percent in less than 15 years.

Speaking at the House of Commons on Wednesday, an emotional Mr Durkan reflected upon the impact of suicide on his own family in recent years.

“I have found the debate hard... I have experienced suicide in my family more than once,” Mr Durkan told MPs.

“I have also experienced suicide from people that have been regarded as close or good friends, or family friends.

“We are stuck with the questions that will never leave, and the answers that will never come... In my consituency and elsewhere, it affects the old and the young - mothers, fathers, and children.”

Mr Durkan also urged caution in the media when reporting on suicide in “insensitive, exploitative and sensational” ways.

“It can not only add to the suffering and stress of families, but puts more families at risk of loss or distress,” he said.