herald

Friday 14 December 2018

WE'RE BROKEN-H EARTED

SUPPORT: Community rallies around devastated parents as they try to come to tems with losing three of their children in horrific murder-suicide

A DEVASTATED father has spoken of how his heart has been broken by a murder-suicide that claimed the lives of three of his sons.

Relatives and neighbours in the north Cork town of Charle- ville rallied to support Thomas O'Driscoll, his wife Helen and their family who were devastated by the deaths of Jonathan (21) and nine-year-old twins Patrick 'Paddy' and Thomas 'TomTom'.

The little boys, who were found in separate rooms at the family home at Deerpark on the Cork-Limerick Road at 5pm on Thursday, died from multiple stab wounds.

Mr O'Driscoll pleaded for privacy as his family struggled to cope with the nightmare.

"Of course we're heart- broken. We have no comment to make."

Mrs O'Driscoll told relatives she has already forgiven Jonathan for what happened.

"She was barely able to talk about it last night but she said she forgave Jonathan for what he did to the boys," a family member said.

frantic

The twins were killed in separate attacks on Thursday evening, having left Banogue National School at 3.30pm.

The school, where the boys had begun third class last week, is 10km from the family home.

An hour after the twins were found fatally stabbed, Jonathan was discovered dead in a wooded area outside Buttevant, some 15km away.

He had taken his own life, but no note was found at the scene.

Gardai under Supt Pat Mc- Carthy are not looking for anyone else in relation to the triple tragedy.

However, detectives stressed that the nature of their investigation will ultimately be determined by the results of post-mortem and forensic tests.

Thomas and Helen O'Driscoll learned their three sons had died in a frantic phone call from a relative in Charleville as they travelled to Waterford to buy the gift of a miniature caravan for the youngsters. They immediately returned to Charleville.

Jonathan had agreed to look after his siblings - the twins and their five and three-year-old brothers - until the couple returned from Waterford.

It is expected that all three brothers will be buried together, but no decision has yet been taken regarding funeral arrangements.

The three bodies were taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) where Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis performed post-mortem examinations.

Dr Curtis examined the bodies of the twins at the house before they were removed at 1pm to CUH.

Emotional scenes marked the removal of the bodies of the little boys.

Mr and Mrs O'Driscoll were comforted by relatives who formed an impromptu cortege around the hearse for brief prayers before it left for the hospital.

At one point the couple were so overcome that they had to be physically supported by family and friends.

Gardai briefly closed the Cork-Limerick road to allow family prayers to be said by Charleville curate Fr Tom Naughton.

Mrs O'Driscoll was inconsolable as she made her way to the family car after the hearse left.

The remains of all three sons are expected to be released to the family tonight.

Their parents were being comforted last night at a relative's home in Charleville.

Suicide prevention helplines

Console:

Freephone 1800 247 247

Samaritans:

Freephone 116 123

1Life:

Freephone 1800 247 100

hnews@herald.ie

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