Helen O’Driscoll lost three of her sons on September 4. Her eldest son Jonathan, 21, had taken his own life after he fatally stabbed twin brothers Patrick and Thomas O’Driscoll, who were both aged nine. Ms O’Driscoll told Ireland AM on TV3 yesterday that she forgave Jonathan for ending the lives of her two young boys.
“I forgive Jonathan for the simple reason being, I know what he did, God help us, was wrong,” said Mrs O’Driscoll.
“And as far as I am concerned, he took the other two people in the world that was near to him and that he used to play with and teach things to and everything — but it wasn’t my Jonathan that took the boys that day. Because I was talking to him half past four and I was talking to Thomas and Paddy and they were the happiest two children in the world. So as far as I am concerned, it was just something that snapped and it wasn’t Jonathan doing what was done.”
She urged young people struggling with depression to talk to a friend, a doctor, or to an organisation such as The Samaritans.
Mrs O’Driscoll told hosts Mark Cagney and Sinéad Desmond that Jonathan, who was adopted, had become increasingly frustrated when he failed to locate his biological parents. She said she became concerned about his mental health and had encouraged him to attend a doctor.
“[People] don’t know what went on in that half [hour] or hour or whatever in his mind, and then to realise that he had to go away and do harm to himself at the end of it all. That’s an awful load on someone’s heart. I know a lot of people say different things about him and how bad he was to do this, but they can sit down and say that. But they don’t know what my son went through.”
Ms O’Driscoll has yet to return to the home where her twins were killed. She hopes the council might knock it and build a new house.
“No one in their right mind would return to the house,” she said. “How do they expect me to go back in to that house when two of my children were done at each side of it? Not just at one side of it; one fella was done here and the other fella was done at the far side.”
All three O’Driscoll boys were laid to rest on September 7 following Requiem Mass in Charleville.