Clarkes to mark son’s birthday with visit to grave

Sallyanne Clarke, who lost her only son Andrew just after Christmas, is dreading what would have been the boy’s 17th birthday today.

Sallyanne and her celebrity chef husband Derry still haven’t recovered from the shock of finding their son’s body in the family garage after he took his own life.

Recently returned from Orlando, where Derry was demonstrating his culinary skills, Sallyanne revealed: “We both still feel very raw. I will go in and visit Andrew’s grave on his birthday, but I do that a few times a week anyhow.

“It’s going to be a very, very hard day for us. Nothing can bring Andrew back now. There is absolutely nothing that anybody can say or do.

Sallyanne, who is grateful “for all of the prayers and all the support” the family has received, is also convinced that car-crazy Andrew, who attended Clongowes Wood College in Co Kildare as a boarder, had no long-term plan to take his life.

“He had everything to live for. He was winning awards in junior motor racing and had just bought an old VW he was doing up. He was to apply for his licence on what would have been his 17th birthday, and he had his theory test booked for the next day.

“I still think he took his life in a sheer moment of madness. It was like a mental heart attack.”

Sallyanne and Derry, who own L’Ecrivain on Dublin’s Baggot St, are finding consolation in the tributes posted on Andrew’s Facebook page.

A truck-racing day is also being held in Mondello park this Saturday in his honour, with all proceeds going to the charity Console.

Meanwhile, the couple are keeping busy by launching Ireland’s newest foodie site, at a lunch in the restaurant tomorrow. The new foodie destination, set up by, will give reduced prices in top restaurants around the country.


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