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Friday 20 October 2017

'I just prayed to Jesus, please don't let it be true,' says mum of twins stabbed by brother

Mum forgives son at centre of murder-suicide (Inset: Jonathan and twins Tom and Paddy)
Mum forgives son at centre of murder-suicide (Inset: Jonathan and twins Tom and Paddy)
Jonathan with Patrick and Thomas
Parents Thomas and Ellen O'Driscoll at their twin sons Thomas and Paddy funeral mass in Charleville .

A MOTHER who lost three sons in a horrific murder-suicide has said she broke down when a garda officer gently told her that her twin boys "were gone".

Helen O'Driscoll said that her first thought at her Cork home on learning that her twin boys Patrick and Thomas (9) were dead was concern for the welfare of her eldest boy, Jonathan (21), who murdered them earlier this month.

"I just asked Jesus and Our Blessed Lady, I said, 'Please, don't let it be true'. I just kept praying," she said.

"When I got up home there were so many cars and gardai. A lovely young garda came up to me and all he said to me was, 'Helen, your boys are gone, but the doctors are in there with them trying to help'. At that stage I broke down."

attacked

Jonathan took his own life less than an hour after the bodies of Paddy and Tom Tom were discovered with fatal stab wounds in the family home at Deerpark, Charleville, Co Cork, on September 4.

The twins died from multiple stab injuries inflicted just over an hour after they had been brought home from national school by their big brother.

Minutes earlier, the 21-year old had taken the twins to Doneraile Park so they could enjoy the autumn sunshine.

The pair were attacked in their bedrooms as they changed out of their school uniforms.

Mrs O'Driscoll said the first person she sought was Jonathan.

"I know people will say, 'What was wrong with her?' But I went looking for my John," she said.

Jonathan with Patrick and Thomas
Jonathan with Patrick and Thomas

"I wanted my John, my pride and joy, my rock. He was the bone of our family. I will never hate him."

Mrs O'Driscoll said she has forgiven Jonathan.

"I know people hate him. I know the wider community of the Travelling community hates him," she told UTV. "But as I have said 101 times, I am his mother. I forgive him. I couldn't give a hoot what the whole world would say about my son because I knew him as the boy I reared."

Parents Thomas and Ellen O'Driscoll at their twin sons Thomas and Paddy funeral mass in Charleville .
Parents Thomas and Ellen O'Driscoll at their twin sons Thomas and Paddy funeral mass in Charleville .

Jonathan, who had a history of mental health problems, was discovered dead in woodland outside Buttevant, 15km away, an hour after the twins were killed.

Mrs O'Driscoll said she would never forget the awful events after being contacted with her husband, Thomas, as they were on their way to Waterford to buy a replica of a barrel-wagon for the twins and told to return home.

The requiem Mass for the brothers was shared, but the twins were buried together in Charleville while Jonathan was buried in Kilmallock.

hnews@herald.ie

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