Monday 26 January 2015

Another family left to cope with an appalling tragedy

Emma Jane Hade

Published 05/09/2014 | 02:30

Carmel Healy Skeffington at the funeral mass of her sons Brandon and Shane Michael Skeffington (both inset) in St. Attracta’s Church, Tourlestrane, Sligo.
Carmel Healy Skeffington at the funeral mass of her sons Brandon and Shane Michael Skeffington (both inset) in St. Attracta’s Church, Tourlestrane, Sligo.

The tragic apparent murder-suicide which took three young lives from the O'Driscoll family yesterday is just the latest in a long list of family tragedies to shock Ireland.

This tragedy mirrors the pain inflicted upon the Skeffington family in Co Sligo earlier this summer.

Shane Skeffington Junior (21) took his own life shortly after he killed his nine-year-old brother Brandon on July 20. He was found in a shed close to the family home, while they boys' parents found the youngest sibling at the top of the stairs with stab wounds that evening.

Their sister, Sharon (15), had been relaxing in their house in Banada, near Tubbercurry, unaware of the tragic loss of her brothers.

In July, Declan O Cualain apologised to his heartbroken family after he was charged with the murder of his brother, Adrian Folan. The 41-year-old was found under a makeshift mound of rocks in a quarry in Co Clare, and a post-mortem examination determined that he died from strangulation.

A case of filicide which occurred in the same town as the most recent tragedy was the death of eight-year-old Anthony Ward, who was killed by his mother Diane.

The schoolboy's mother smothered him with a pillow on September 3, 2012. The court heard that she was severely depressed and suicidal at the time

The 44-year-old, from Harrison Place, Charleville, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of her son.

And the heartbroken Cork woman Una Butler has bravely spoke out about her personal tragedy after her 42-year-old husband John killed her two daughters - Zoe (6) and Ella (2) - in November 2010.

The two girls were found dead in the family home, while the body of their father was found close by in his crashed car.

Irish Independent

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