Family wants tragedy house knocked

A house at the centre of a murder-suicide in Charleville, Co Cork, remains standing despite pleas from the bereaved family to demolish it.

Helen O’Driscoll, the mother of twins who were stabbed to death at the address in Deerpark, Charleville last September, has said her family is facing a second winter living in a caravan and mobile home in the garden of the council house where Patrick and Thomas, nine, were murdered.

Mrs O’Driscoll and her husband Thomas have renewed their appeal to Cork County Council to demolish the house.

“We were promised it would be demolished by the first of October. Someone came down from the council with an engineer but they went away and I haven’t heard from them since.”

Patrick and Thomas were found in separate rooms of the house on September 4, 2014, having died of injuries they sustained in a knife attack by their adopted brother Jonathan, 21. Jonathan’s remains were found in woodland in nearby Buttevant, where he had taken his own life.

Mrs O’Driscoll said she fears for the mental health of her family, especially her husband, if they have to continue living within sight of the house where Patrick and Thomas died.

“It’s terrible for my husband. My boys used to hate the dark so he’ll still go down and go into the house and turn on lights in there. It reminds us all the time of what happened. My two small kids need to see that house knocked down,” she said, speaking on 96fm’s Opinion Line.

Mrs O’Driscoll herself has only entered the house twice since the horrific tragedy.

Local Fianna Fáil councillor, Ian Doyle, has said that the council is committed to helping the O’Driscoll family but he could offer no explanation as to why the demolition hasn’t taken place.

“I know Helen personally and we want to facilitate her. There has been a proposal, so all I can tell you is that we’re working towards it,” Mr Doyle said

The communications officer for Cork County Council, Tom O’Sullivan, said: “The O’Driscolls are tenants of Cork Country Council housing authority and we do not comment on individual cases as a matter of policy.”


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