Figures from the Central Statistics Office reveal 26 people took their own lives in Kerry last year. The numbers were released in a response to a Dáil question from Kerry South Independent Deputy Michael Healy-Rae. In a number of questions to the Dáil, Deputy Michael Healy-Rae called on the Health Minister to set up an independent body to deal with the increasing numbers of people taking their lives on a daily basis. He also asked for a county by county breakdown on suicide rates. Responding, Junior Health Minister Kathleen Lynch said the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention was established in 2005. The role of this body is to implement the national strategy for action on suicide prevention, as well as co-ordinating suicide prevention initiatives around the country. Figures from the Central Statistics Office reveal 525 people took their own lives around the country in 2011; 26 of those were in Kerry. Deputy Healy-Rae says he’s shocked at the high number of instances in the county.