herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

I'll search for my late son's siblings vows tragic mum

A MOTHER who lost three sons to an horrific murder-suicide has vowed to finish her eldest son's heartbreaking search for his birth siblings.

Helen O'Driscoll made the vow as she said she believes her eldest boy, Jonathan (21), and her twins, Patrick and Thomas (9), would still be alive if adoption files had been opened earlier.

Jonathan 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).

Stab

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

Jonathan had a history of mental health problems.

However, he was deeply frustrated 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 upset.

Tragically, Helen received a letter from a State agency, addressed to Jonathan, just 48 hours after his death saying the adoption file was being opened.

Helen has now promised her dead son she will try and locate any siblings he might have.

"I would love answers - and I will get answers. I would love to be able to finish what Jonathan started," she said.

"To be able to meet his siblings and let them know how much he was looking for them - how he did absolutely everything in his power to find them."

Helen and her husband, Thomas, adopted Jonathan as a baby.

They later gave him all the information they possessed about his birth family but Jonathan was determined to trace any siblings he had.

"He never really questioned much about his birth parents but he wanted to know did he have siblings," she said.

"I told him the truth - I said he had. He asked could we find out more and I said yes we can."

"I made a few phone calls and they (State officials) came out a couple of times and we got to know a little bit more."

"A social worker came out and, fair play to her, she explained things to him. He wanted to know more and I told him everything I could. The information can be given when they are young but when they get older themselves to look for the information it is very hard to get it."

Frustrated

Jonathan became upset over his search being repeatedly frustrated.

"He kept searching for answers, God love him. I think it got him down. He had his good days and bad days but they were mostly about that (adoption) situation."

"He wanted to know who his siblings were. They might never have wanted to mix and mingle but he just wanted to know who they were and that he was there (for them)."

The family's anguish was compounded by the arrival of the letter about Jonathan's adoption file just 48 hours after the murder-suicide.

"The letter that arrived two days after the tragedy said they were considering Jonathan's paper work," Helen said.

"They were considering opening his file for him. But it was too late. I think he would (still be alive) … he would have had something to look forward to."

hnews@herald.ie

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