Tag Archives: Deaths.

Number of death notices posted on RIP.ie in April 2020; tweets from Gerard McCarthy and Pádraig MacCarron


Gerard McCarthy, of Maynooth University and Pádraig MacCarron, of University of Limerick published their research after they looked at the number of death notices posted per county on RIP.ie in April 2020.

Mr MacCarron spoke to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland earlier and told how they found that there were more death notices for Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Meath, Louth, Cavan and Monaghan than any month over the past ten years in those counties.

In comparison, Kilkenny‘s death notices were about the same as April 2019.

Speaking about the accuracy of the figures, he said that the number of death notices posted on RIP.ie match up with figures from the Central Statistics Office death and mortality data.

Asked if the increase in death notices in certain counties can be “put down purely to Covid”, Mr MacCarron told Morning Ireland:

“Yeah, it seems to be. The mean number of deaths in April for the last ten years is about 2,500. And the official numbers give about 1,200 people died [of Covid] in April. So if you add those together, there’s only 60 extra deaths. And our death notices posted on RIP.ie compared to the average plus the number of deaths from Covid.

“And in fact if you add up the number of deaths from Covid to last year’s number of death notices, that would be about 100 higher than it is now. So it seems like the official numbers are quite representative and that’s the main cause of this excess.”

Listen back in full here


Meanwhile, on RTÉ’s Brainstorm, they write:

Nationally, the number of death notices posted on RIP.ie in April 2020 for the whole of Ireland are the highest on record, but comparable with January 2018 and 2017 when there was a bad flu season.

Typically deaths peak in Ireland in the winter are associated with respiratory diseases, including the seasonal flu. The number of death notices posted typically decreases going into April, whereas there is a spike associated with the coronavirus in 2020.

Comparing the magnitude of this spike to the seasonal peak in winter of other years, it could be argued as comparable to the numbers of death notices posted in previous years (January 2018 was the previous maximum).

There is increasingly heated debate about whether the unprecedented measures implemented to combat the spread of Covid-19 are necessary to maintain, if excess mortality is comparable to that of the seasonal flu.

However, this picture of the national situation, where Ireland could be on track to keeping mortality to that of a bad flu season, belies a more complex geography of the pandemic in Ireland.

…Looking in more detail at the map, it is the border counties of Monaghan and Cavan that are worst affected where the increase in postings in April 2020 relative to the average number of postings was 150% and 120% respectively.

What death notices tell us about the coronavirus across Ireland (RTÉ Brainstorm)

From top: Latest update on the Department of Health’s Covid-19 dashboard; Dublin Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane

This morning.

The latest Department of Health figures show that, as of April 15, there were 444 Covid-19 deaths in Ireland, 290 associated with residential settings, including 245 in nursing homes.

Last week, the department confirmed that when calculating its death toll, the department counts “any death that involves a positive Covid-19 test” and any person whose remains test positive for Covid-19 during a post-mortem.

This would appear to suggest that any person who has tested positive for Covid-19 will be listed as having died from Covid-19 regardless of the actual cause of death

Further to this…

This morning Paul Cullen reports in The Irish Times that the Dublin Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane has warned that “not all Covid-19 deaths are being reported as required by law“.

Mr Cullen reports:

…Dr Myra Cullinane has written to medical staff in hospitals and other locations who are responsible for completing death certificates saying they must comply with the requirement to report “any death in the context of proven or suspected” Covid-19 to her office.

Her warning comes amid concern over possible under-reporting of deaths from the virus, particularly outside hospitals. Analyses of online death notices in recent weeks have suggested a level of excess mortality not captured in official figures.

…In her letter, Dr Cullinane reminds medical staff of the requirement under the Coroners Acts to report virus deaths. She adds: “It has been drawn to my attention that such reporting is not taking place in all cases.”

Meanwhile, earlier on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland

Broadcaster Dr Gavin Jennings asked Dr Siobhán Ní Bhriain, National Lead for Integrated Care with the HSE, if she’s “sure that all deaths for Covid-19 or suspected in care centres and in nursing homes are being reported as Covid-19 deaths“.

Ms Ní Bhriain replied:

I couldn’t say with absolute certainty, Gavin, that they are being reported as such. I do, we do wonder, if at the early stages of the disease, when we didn’t suspect it was Covid, there may have been a couple of deaths that occurred early that would not have been typically Covid in terms of symptoms.

“But we have a review system in place to look back over all those deaths reporting, that were reported. And we will be reviewing that.”

Listen back to the interview in full here

Some Covid-19 deaths are not being reported, coroner warns (Paul Cullen, The Irish Times)

Related: 881 patients in acute hospitals with Covid-19, 448 suspected cases (RTÉ)

Previously: Counting ‘Every Death’ That ‘Involves A Positive COVID-19 Test’


More than nine in 10 people [in the UK] dying with coronavirus have an underlying health condition, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

The ONS looked at nearly 4,000 deaths during March in England and Wales where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate.

In 91% of cases the individuals had other health problems.

The most common was heart disease, followed by dementia and respiratory illness.

On average, people dying also had roughly three other health conditions.

Coronavirus: Nine in 10 dying have existing illness (BBC)

Department of Health’s Covid-19 Health Surveillance Monitor as of yesterday; Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan giving his nightly Covid-19 briefing yesterday evening

Yesterday evening.

The Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan gave his nightly Covid-19 briefing to journalists, saying:

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, again thank you for being with us.

“Today we’re reporting to you that we have diagnosed an additional 500 – five, zero, zero – cases of Covid-19 bringing the number confirmed in this country to 6,574. And there have been an addition 28 deaths, bringing our total number of deaths to 263.

“Of those 28 deaths, 13 of them were males, 15 of them are females, and 19 of them, we have reports of an underlying medical condition.”

How are Covid-19 deaths in the Republic of Ireland calculated and recorded?

A Department of Health spokeswoman said:

“We count any death that involves a positive COVID-19 test, and we also include post-mortem positive COVID-19 tests.”

Separately, a spokeswoman from the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland, when asked the same question, said:

Deaths are recorded of patients who have died within 28 days of a positive test result, whether or not COVID-19 was the cause of death. By definition therefore, deaths where tests were not taken will not be included.

“The deaths may have taken place in a hospital setting, or in the community or a care home, but must have been reported to PHA by the Health and Social Care Trust to be included in the report.

“This reporting process allows a “real time” daily update of trends in COVID -19 deaths within each trust area. In this pandemic, public health professionals, policy makers and the public value an up to date, daily record of the number of deaths associated with COVID 19.”

The spokeswoman also confirmed that, like the Republic of Ireland, Northern Irish authorities also include the deaths of people whose remains test positive in a post-mortem.

View the Department of Healths’ Covid-19 dashboard here

Related: Coronavirus: Why death and mortality rates differ (BBC)

Newstalk journalist Eoghan Murphy tweetz:

Tusla has been notified of 116 children being seriously injured in childcare services this year, along with five children going missing and two deaths – one in a childcare centre and one after being transferred to hospital. Breakdown of details [above], released under FoI.

Tusla records large rise in number of children seriously injured while in childcare services (Eoghan Murphy, Newstalk)


Tipperary Star reports:

Gardaí are at scene of a fatal incident that occurred at Ballybrado, Cahir, Co. Tipperary at approximately 12.30p.m. today, Monday 16th October, 2017.

A man (early 30s) while in the course of clearing a fallen tree was seriously injured with a chain saw. He has since passed away and his body has been removed to Clonmel Hospital.

Ophelia claims its first victim in Tipperary as man in early thirties dies after chainsaw accident (Tipperary Star)

Earlier: A Death In Waterford


Leinster Express reports:

A person has been injured after a tree fell on a car in Monasterevin during Hurricane Ophelia.

Portarlington Fire Services has responded to a road traffic collision at Monasterevin where a tree has fallen on a car, one person has been removed to Portlaoise General Hospital.

The gender of the status of the injured person are not yet known.

Laois County Council, An Garda Siochana and HSE Crisis Management Team wish to strongly advise that all members of the public should remain indoors.

BREAKING – Person injured after tree fall in Monasterevin during Hurricane Ophelia (Leinster Express)

Mags Gargan, in The Irish Catholic, reports:

The Government does not know the cause of death of the majority of the asylum seekers who have died in State care in the last 10 years.

“While two people are recorded as dying as a result of suicide and one resident was stabbed to death, the “suspected cause of death” of over one third of the people who have died while resident in the direct provision accommodation system is unknown.

In response to a Freedom of Information request from The Irish Catholic, the Department of Justice released figures which show that 44 people have died in the direct provision system between 2007 and 2017, including three stillborn babies and one “neonatal death”.

In 15 of the cases the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) record the suspected cause of death as “unknown” or simply “died”.

Among those listed as unknown was a 41-year-old man who was “found in room by roommate” in 2008, a 53-year-old man who was “found dead in his bed at 9am” by his roommate in 2012, a 35-year-old man “found unconscious in room and died in hospital” in 2014 and another man in 2015 “found unconscious in room and died in hospital”.

Cause of one in three deaths in direct provision system is unknown (The Irish Catholic)



Yesterday, in the Dáil, Justice Minister Alan Shatter, top, responded to the Irish Times’ articles on the direct provision system, which reported on unpublished inspection reports into the system which caters for asylum seekers.

During his response he said:

“There was mention in the article of suicides being covered up. That is untrue. In the 14 years of RIA’s existence only one person, a newly-arrived asylum seeker, can with certainty be said to have committed suicide and that happened while the individual was being detained in hospital. It did not happen in one of the centres.”



In July of this year, replying to a question from Labour TD Derek Nolan, Mr Shatter provided the above table to show the number of asylum seekers who have died while residing in the direct provision system.

It has always been the case that the Reception Integration Agency, which runs direct provision, does not and cannot have access to death certificates, leading to very little being known about these deaths.

In 2011 – at which point there had been 49 deaths and the one known suicide – Sue Conlon, of the Irish Refugee Council told Metro Éireann newspaper of her concern surrounding the unknown cause of the deaths.

The paper reported:

“[Sue Conlon] continued: ‘Residents in direct provision live in conditions that are not designed as long-term living space, where they have no control over meals… and can be transferred without consultation.  In these circumstances, residents become de-skilled, isolated from society and often suffer poor health, including mental health. It is not surprising that so many have died’. Conlan said it is “of grave concern that so little is known about the cause of death” of the 49 “and how the whole experience in direct provision may have contributed to the deterioration in their health”.

From the same article:

“Pastor Amos Ngugi of Act of Compassion Ministries – which voluntarily works with asylum seekers experiencing emotional problems – said he couldn’t comment on whether the RIA statistic denoting one suicide was accurate.”

“He said he had heard rumours which suggested more than one suicide, but stressed he could not yet substantiate this.” 

“However, the Kenyan-born pastor and former hospital chaplain noted that depression – which in severe cases can lead to suicide – is a “major issue” in RIA accommodation centres.”

“What I do know 100 per cent is that depression is a major problem,” he remarked.”

Separately, but related, in the Irish Refugee Council’s report State-sanctioned Child Poverty and Exclusion, it told how:

In 2010, Perpetua, a woman who was six months pregnant miscarried her twin babies while living in the Eglinton Hotel in Galway. She believes the miscarriage was caused by the stress of living in Direct Provision without enough space, privacy or quiet to sleep at night. She shared her room with her five-year-old daughter and another mother and her 18-month-old son.

It also reported how in 2007:

“The Connacht Sentinel reported on the death of Brenda Kwesikazi Mohammed, an asylum-seeker, and mother of a two-year-old daughter, living in the Eglinton Hotel in Galway. The Sentinel reported that Brenda died of malnutrition.”


State sanctioned child poverty and exclusion (Irish Refugee Council)

Oireachtas debates (October 9, 2013)

Previously: “Issues Too Extensive To Catalogue Individually”

You may want to read this.

Carol Ballantine writes:

In the course of my work (honest!) I came upon this infographic that breaks down the leading causes of disease and disability globally.
You can filter by region, by sex, by age, by risk factor/ cause of disease…You could lose a whole day in there.
I learned, for example, that the number one cause of death in Central and Tropical Latin America (I think tropical means Colombia and Venezuela, basically) is “interpersonal violence”. More people are killed by other people than any other way. Meanwhile, the fifth greatest risk of death for women my age in Western Europe is intimate partner violence. Enjoy!


Deaths Leading Causes And Risks Globally (Institute For Health, Metrics and Evaluation)