SNOW PATROL frontman Gary Lightbody has hit out at Northern Ireland’s politicians for ‘abandoning’ people as the region approaches two years without a government.
Speaking to BBC News NI, the singer said he had lost two friends to suicide this year and the political impasse was affecting mental health services.
The publication of a suicide prevention strategy document has been delayed by the deadlock in Northern Ireland, which has the highest suicide rate in the UK.
“I feel angry that we as a people have been ignored and abandoned by the people that really should be keeping these things running for all of us,” the singer told BBC News NI.
“It’s an unforgivable act to leave a country unmanned for so long and we are at the behest of the winds at the moment and I hope something is resolved quickly.
“It’s a situation where everybody loses because its people’s lives that are at stake.”
More people have taken their own lives since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 than died in the Troubles.
Lightbody added: “The latest generation have grown up in peace time, but it’s not a completely solid peace, there are still divisions in our country.
“There is still anger and fear and I think that has something to do with why the numbers are bigger here.”
Northern Ireland has been without a devolved government since the collapse of the power-sharing executive in January 2017.