Grieving mum thanks public for funeral donations

A mother who lost three sons in a murder-suicide in North Cork in September has thanked the public for donations she has received towards the €13,000 funeral bill.

Helen and Thomas O’Driscoll lost three sons when nine-year-old twins, Patrick and Thomas, were killed and their older brother, Jonathan, 21, who then took his own life.

A fundraising walk to raise money for the funeral expenses took place in Charleville yesterday, on what would have been the twins’ 10th birthday.

Jonathan was their eldest son, aged 21, and gardaí believe he stabbed the twins in the family home in Deerpark, Charleville, on September 4 last, shortly before he took his own life.

Ms O’Driscoll spoke on Red FM’s Neil Prenderville Show and thanked everybody for the sympathy she has received since the tragic deaths.

She said: “Can I just take this opportunity to thank the whole world for their cards, their flowers, their thoughts. I think it’s the only thing that kept me going to tell you the truth.”

She also said that she has been comforted by her faith, and especially her belief that the three boys are together, with her own parents, in heaven.

Ms. O’Driscoll said that Jonathan did not have a temper and that he had never so much as raised his voice at the boys, but confirmed that he was on medication from his GP.

On the day of the killings, she and her husband had gone to Waterford to buy a barrel-top caravan for the twins. She struggles to understand what happened as everything appeared normal that day and she was talking to her sons on the phone, just 15 minutes before the murders.

She said: “I’ll never know what happened, but in my heart and soul I know he never meant to do it and I’ll never hold it against him... He was my son and I loved him from the bottom of my heart.”

She revealed Jonathan, who was adopted, had been searching for his birth family and received a letter some days after his death to say that he was going to be allowed access to his file. Ms O’Driscoll feels unable to go back into the house and is living in a camper van beside the property — she hopes the council will knock the house and build a new one in its place.

All three O’Driscoll boys were laid to rest on September 7 after Mass at Holycross Church in Charleville.

The family has appealed to the public for support with meeting the funeral costs, and one anonymous Red FM listener has donated €1,000.

-The O’Driscoll fund is at AIB account: 23462037; sort code: 93-61-88; IBAN: 1E84AIBK936123462037


Lifestyle

It never ceases to stop me in my tracks when I hear my husband intone to our children one of the oft overused phrases from my stockpile of, “Can you just not?” categories.Lindsay Woods: If my children feel I’m doing it wrong then I must be doing it right

In honour of our Made in Munster special edition, Joe McNamee creates a four-course meal showcasing the best produce from the province. And there’s a lot to celebrate.The Menu's Made in Munster six course dinner - One from each county

More From The Irish Examiner