School's park memorial to tragic brothers killed in murder-suicide
A Dublin school is to erect a memorial to a former pupil and his young brother after reports from Poland that their father killed them and their mother before taking his own life.
Last week, the Herald reported how two schools in South Dublin had been left shocked by reports of what happened when Rathfarnham restaurant worker Victor Marin Del Sol travelled to Poland just before Christmas to see his partner Ewelina Szwarc and their sons Oskar (9) and Christian (7) and daughter Maria Victoria (11).
Polish media has reported that the waiter murdered his partner and two sons before taking his own life.
Maria Victoria reportedly escaped and raised the alarm.
Oskar attended second class in Ballyroan Boys' National School before his mother took him and her other two children back to Poland.
He would be in fourth class today if the family had stayed here.
Christian and Maria Victoria attended nearby Scoil Naomh Padraig for a year. Christian was in junior infants and Maria Victoria was in third class.
"Oskar was a lovely child. He was a nice boy," said Ballyroan Boys' School principal Des Morris.
"He spoke Polish and Spanish and had little English, but he was developing well in the language and integrating well.
"His father would visit the school regularly on everyday school business, and there was nothing unusual about that.
"It is shocking and sad. You can't fathom it."
The principal of Scoil Naomh Padraig spoke kindly of Christian and Maria Victoria, and expressed sadness at Christian's death in such tragic circumstances.
"We remember them as lovely, happy children.
"We will remember them in our prayers," said Grace O'Neill.
The parents of children in Ballyroan Boys' School have received a notification from Mr Morris that the boys are to be remembered with a memorial plaque, which will be placed in the small woodland park on the school grounds on the bank of the Owendoher River.
A bench was erected in the same park by past pupils to remember Philip Cairns, the 13-year-old former student who went missing in 1986.
"We are organising a simple memorial plaque for Oskar and Christian to be placed in the woodland park and intend to have a simple remembrance service next week," Mr Morris said in an email to parents.
Marin Del Sol worked as a waiter in the Little Caesars restaurant adjacent to the popular Old Orchard pub on nearby Butterfield Avenue.
"He was a quiet lad, a nice fellow," said one member of staff at the pub.
"You just wouldn't know what's going on in some people's minds."