Official figures show that deaths linked to COVID-19 accounted for almost 15% of all deaths in the second quarter of this year.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures on births and deaths are the first to include registered deaths from the virus.
1,227 deaths were linked to COVID-19 in the quarter. The virus was identified in 1,184 of these cases, while in 43 cases its presence was probable or suspected.
Deaths up 14%
Overall, there were 8,582 deaths registered in the three months from April to the end of June, an increase of 14% compared with the same period last year.
2,286 deaths were due to cancer, while 2,245 were linked to diseases of the circulatory system, including heart disease.
The number of suicides was 25, a sharp drop compared with last year, but the CSO says this figure was affected by disruption caused by COVID-19 restrictions, which meant the Coroner's Court did not hold public hearings. All deaths from intentional self-harm must be referred to the Coroner's Office.
Drop in births
Of the COVID-19 deaths, 1,004 were aged 75 and over. For this age group, however, diseases of the circulatory system were the leading cause of death.
The mean average age of COVID-19 deaths was 82.9 years while the median age was 84.4 years.
The CSO figures also show that there were 13,527 births in the second quarter of this year, down 6% from the same period in 2019. Just over 62% were registered within marriages or civil partnerships.