Cavan murder-suicide: Bishop says Castlerahan community will unite in face of family horror

Bishop of Kilmore Leo O’Reilly says the community of Castlerahan will unite and support one another in the aftermath of Monday’s murder-suicide.

“My reaction is just deep shock. Everybody is shocked, by just the suddenness and the horror of these terrible events,” Bishop O’Reilly said. “It’s just hard to believe, a family that was there is just gone, and everybody is numbed, and saddened, and traumatised really by the whole series of events.

“It’s always difficult to come to terms with the death of a child, it must be the hardest cross that any parent has to carry. The death of three children in circumstances like this is just incomprehensible and unbelievably sad.

“The children went to the local national school, St Mary’s in Castlerahan. Their teachers are in there today trying to cope with this and trying to help parents to cope with it. They have help from the Department of Education’s psychology services as well.”

Bishop O’Reilly said Castlerahan curate Fr Felim Kelly and the local clergy were still in a state of shock.

“He was just telling me how much involved this family were in the community, that the young lad was playing with the local football team, the father was involved in the GAA club, and the parents both were readers at Mass,” Bishop O’Reilly said.

“The children were Mass servers and for somebody of faith that makes even harder questions, and yet at the end of the day it has always been my experience in situations like this that it is faith which helps people to come through and to cope with tragedies like this and to find the strength and the courage and the hope just to carry on.”

The national school in Castlerahan has implemented a critical incident plan in conjunction with the National Educational Psychological Service, which will provide support to pupils and parentswho require it in the coming days and weeks. “I think that support will have to continue for some time,” Bishop O’Reilly said.

How to get support from Childline:

By phone: Children and young people can contact Childline’s 24 hour phone service by phoning 1800 666666.

By text: Text the word: ‘talk’ to 50101 (service available from 10pm to 4am)

Live online chat: Available from 10am to 4am, live chat on

Via the web: You will find various items of support and advice for children and parents on and

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