WORDS cannot describe the sense of shock and devastation felt by a tightly knit community at the loss of all five members of a young family in what gardaí believe was a murder- suicide multiple killing near Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, a place more often associated in song with a deep longing for Ireland rather than with such an unspeakable tragedy.
As most people know a death in a family can lead to numbing grief. So it is difficult for the mind to grasp the anguish caused by the slaughter of a wife at her husband’s hand. In another moment, the father, who suffered from depression, killed their three lovely boys. Such carnage is a parent’s nightmare. As Bishop Leo O’Reilly of Kilmore put it: “The death of a child has to be the most difficult cross for any parent to bear, but three children and their parents — it is just unbearable and near impossible to comprehend.”
The Department of Education is to be commended for making psychological services available to local schools where pupils are in a state of shock over the loss of classmates and teachers distraught at the loss of two colleagues. There is a compelling case for an equally positive response to the campaign by Una Butler who has been lobbying tirelessly for families to be involved in the treatment of mental health illness following the loss of her husband and two young daughters in a similar act of murder-suicide.
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 Childline.ie
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved