The Alarming Rise of Excess Deaths in Ireland: A Deep Dive
**Last Updated on 1st February 2024
In recent years, Ireland has witnessed a concerning surge in excess deaths. These are the number of fatalities/deaths in a given period that surpass the average of the pre-pandemic years of 2015-2019. This article delves into the data, the government’s response, and the implications for the Irish population.
Understanding Excess Deaths
Excess deaths serve as a crucial metric to gauge the health and well-being of a nation. They represent the difference between the observed and expected number of deaths in a specific timeframe. Various methods, including a five-year rolling average, are employed to calculate these figures.
The Startling Numbers
According to data from the General Register Office (GRO) and RIP.ie, Ireland has experienced a significant rise in excess deaths since 2021:
• 2021: An increase of 14.8%, translating to 4,600 excess RIP.ie death notices.
• 2022: A spike of 18.1%, amounting to 5,600 excess RIP.ie death notices.
• 2023: A rise of 18.7% or 5,800 excess RIP.ie death notices.
• 2024: A rise of 15.8% or 500 excess RIP.ie death notices.
In total, there has been over 16,600 excess RIP.ie death notices from 2021 to 2024, and the numbers continue to climb.
Government’s Response: A Cause for Concern?
Several Dail Eireann Parliamentary Questions have been raised, seeking clarity on this deadly trend. However, the responses, especially from Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, have often been vague. The lack of transparency is evident from the GRO annual reports, which indicate a substantial number of excess deaths.
Furthermore, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, recently dismissed the need for a public debate on the issue, stating that “excess deaths vary from year to year.” Such statements raise questions about the government’s commitment to addressing this disastrous situation.
The data and the government’s lukewarm response lead to several pressing questions:
• Why is there a reluctance to publicly debate or investigate this matter?
• What are the underlying causes of these premature deaths?
• How can further excess deaths be prevented?
• If the pandemic is over, what’s driving this increase in mortality?
The rise in excess deaths in Ireland is a grave concern that demands immediate attention. While the data is clear, the reasons remain shrouded in mystery. It’s crucial for the government and health officials to be transparent, conduct thorough investigations, and take necessary actions to safeguard the health of the Irish population.