Vigil for taxi drivers who died by suicide

TAXI drivers gathered at Áras an Uachtaráin last night to hold a silent vigil to remember the high number of drivers who have taken their own lives in light of the recession.

Organisers of the vigil estimate that up 25 drivers have committed suicide in the last two years due to the economic pressure which has mounted upon them.

Organiser Lisa Corr said there had been two notable clusters of suicides, the first last August and then again last week.

She said some of those who died were well known around Dublin.

“These deaths have upset the industry an awful lot,” she said. “The recession has hit everyone across the country but there are too many cars on the roads and that is hitting our industry hard.

“There are 11,000 drivers in Dublin now. That is more than in New York for the population,” she said.

Taxi unions have been calling for some time for the industry regulator to put a cap on the number of licenses being issued so that drivers can find it easier to make a living.

John Usher from the Irish Taxi Drivers Federation, who said he was aware of nine suicides amongst taxi men in the last year, said a lot of drivers had seen their cars or houses re-possessed.

Last night’s silent candlelight vigil was addressed by representatives from suicide support organisation Console.

Organisers said they hoped their action would draw the Government’s attention to the tragedies which the industry had suffered.

Anyone who needs support should contact Console’s 1Life suicide helpline on 1800 247100.


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