Suicide support groups report increase in calls following Donegal tragedies

It's emerged that money that had been ear-marked for suicide prevention and mental health services this year was used to cover over-runs in other parts of the health service.

The Irish Times reports this morning that under plans announced a year ago, 35 million euro was to be invested in hiring 414 new staff and to expand services in the community in the area of suicide prevention.

The newspaper has found that only 17 mental health staff have been hired under these plans and that the money was used in other areas of the HSE.

Meanwhile Suicide charities have reported soaring contacts and donations in the wake of the deaths of junior minister Shane McEntee and the Gallagher sisters in Donegal.

One charity revealed to the Irish Independent its donations had jumped by 50pc while Pieta House, which is rapidly expanding its counselling and support services, revealed its level of contacts had risen by 30pc-plus in the wake of the tragedies.