Updated March 03, 2018 14:22:58 The latest data from the Irish coroner has revealed more than two million new deaths across the country in 2016-17, a jump of nearly 50 per cent.
The statistics, which were published by the Department of Justice in a submission to the High Court, show that between January 1, 2018 and March 31, 2018 there were 1,564,847 deaths recorded in Ireland, with another 2,826,818 recorded over the same period last year.
A total of 1,858,907 people died in 2017, which is more than three times the number of people who died in the previous year.
In 2017, the rate of deaths increased by nearly seven per cent to 2,936,824, according to the data, which was obtained by the Irish Examiner.
The data showed that there were 3,073,619 new deaths recorded over a five-year period, a 1.9 per cent increase.
This is the third year in a row that the number has risen, with the previous two years having a decrease of about three per cent, said the department.
The report also noted that the majority of deaths are attributed to drugs.
In 2016-2017, the total number of deaths was 5,852,738, of which 1,958,851 were drug-related.
Another 1,633,632 people died from natural causes.
Of these, 5,069,624 were alcohol-related, while 6,862,932 were drug related.
Overall, there were about 4.6 million deaths in the country.
The number of drug- related deaths increased from 4,566,723 in 2015-16 to 4,674,037 in 2016.
The figures for alcohol- related fatalities rose from 1,526,939 in 2016 to 2.4 million in 2017.
In both cases, the increase in the number and number of alcohol- and drug- Related deaths was largely due to a rise in deaths related to drugs and alcohol, which has increased by almost 50 per the last five years, according the report.
It also noted an increase in alcohol- Related fatalities, which increased from 567,527 in 2015 to 631,622 in 2016, a rise of nearly four per cent in that period.
Deaths related to other drugs, including heroin and morphine, also rose by nearly 40 per cent between 2015 and 2017, while those related to HIV/Aids decreased by about a quarter.
The department said that this is the second consecutive year that the Irish government has been criticised for its drug and alcohol policy.
In November 2017, then minister for justice, Dara Murphy, claimed that the Government had been “very slow to take action on the scale of the problem”.
The Department of Health and Social Protection has also been criticised in recent months for failing to tackle the problem.
This led to the resignation of the country’s first Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, and the resignation and suspension of the Government’s Drugs Strategy Review Committee.
The Department for Health and Equality, which administers the National Drug Strategy, was also criticised by the National Commission for Responsible Drug Policy for failing “to implement a robust drug strategy”.