A new public health survey shows that Roscommon has Ireland's highest life expectancy for men and women.

Figures from the Institute of Public Health in Ireland show that in Roscommon life expectancy at birth for men is nearly 77 years and just over 82 years for women.

Leitrim has the lowest life expectancy for men, while Limerick has the lowest life expectancy for women.

The institute says this is the first time that male and female life expectancy has been made available at county level in the Republic and it will assist local planning and help reduce inequalities.

The study shows that the all-Ireland life expectancy is over 75 years for men and over 80 years for women.

Ballymoney in Northern Ireland has the highest life expectancy for both men and women across the whole island.

The highest premature death rate in the Republic is in Louth, while in Northern Ireland the highest premature death rate is in Belfast.

The IPH says that the contrasting suicide rates in the Republic and Northern Ireland are striking but this may be due to different methods in collecting information in the two jurisdictions.

During 2001-2004, the study found that the suicide rate was 47% higher in the Republic than in Northern Ireland.