herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Adoption letter 'came days after murder-suicide'

A FAMILY who lost three sons in a horrific-murder suicide has revealed their eldest boy, upset at delays in accessing details of his adoption, received a letter 48 hours after his death saying his file was being opened.

Jonathan O'Driscoll (21) took his own life on September 4 - less than an hour after the fatal stabbing of his twin brothers, Patrick 'Paddy' and Thomas 'TomTom' O'Driscoll (9).

The twins were discovered with multiple stab wounds in separate bedrooms at their Deerpark home outside Charleville in Cork.

History

Jonathan had a history of mental health problems.

However, he was understood to be frustrated and upset at being unable to access full details of his birth family.

The young man's inability to obtain full details of his adoption file became a source of enormous distress to him.

He was also worried over an impending court case.

The boys' mother, Helen O'Driscoll, has now revealed how in an agonising quirk of fate, Jonathan received a letter from a state agency just 48 hours after his death saying his file was being opened.

"I don't know … if it had arrived earlier Jonathan might be alive and with us today," she said.

Helen also said that she hopes and prays that if any of Jonathan's birth relatives ever discover their connection to him they will appreciate the great lengths he undertook to make contact.

"He did everything he could to find them," she said.

Helen and her husband, Thomas, said they have forgiven Jonathan for a triple tragedy that has left them devastated and heartbroken.

"It is like a piece of your heart that is gone forever. You will never get it back either but you know they are in God's hands. I just wish that God would have left them with me for a little bit longer," Helen said.

Thomas and Helen now want to demolish the Deerpark property and build a new replacement home on the site.

They are living in a caravan and motor-home behind the 50-year-old cottage in which their twin sons died.

"We don't want to live in there - not after what happened," Thomas said.

The couple insists on remaining at the site, given all the happy memories of the children they raised there.

"That yard is our children's playground. It is our boys' playground and we will never, ever leave it," Helen said.

But they are pleading for a new house with no reminders of that awful September 4 day.

"We don't want to be reminded of what happened in there," she added.

"But this place is our home too and we don't want to leave either because of the boys."

Thomas and Helen have now created a special shrine to their sons in the back garden.

hnews@herald.ie

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