Grieving mother waits to bring her two boys home after post-mortems
IN THE grieving village of Ballinkillen, a distraught mother is waiting to bring her boys home.
Kathleen Chada last saw her sons at 6.30pm on Sunday when their father Sanjeev said he was taking them to a bowling alley.
The bodies of young Ruairi and Eoghan were later found in the boot of Mr Chada's Ford Focus which he crashed into a wall outside Westport, Co Mayo on Monday afternoon.
Gardai believe their deaths happened before the crash took place.
Post-mortem examinations were carried out on both boys last night. It is understood that the earliest the bodies will be brought home to their mother will be this evening.
Kathleen's brothers Brian and Kevin had the grim task of travelling to Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar to identify their bodies on Monday night.
Ballinkillen parish priest Fr Declan Foley said that the family had begun discussions to arrange the funeral, which will take place towards the end of the week.
He said that Mrs Chada was "distraught" and that the family were "trying to comprehend all that's actually happening to them and they're hoping for some bit of privacy to try to come to terms with the enormity of the loss.
"It's very hard to verbalise their feelings at the moment", he said.
According to Fr Foley, the boys were "very close to their dad" adding that there was "no doubt in the world" that Mr Chada had been a loving father prior to Monday's horrific events.
He said that Mr and Mrs Chada had a happy relationship, adding "Kathleen certainly deeply loved him".
He described the boys' deaths as one of the most difficult tragedies he has dealt with "because there are two young children involved".
Fr Foley said the parents of children in the Ballinkillen National School had been finding it difficult to explain the tragedy to the Chada brothers' classmates including cousins of the two boys.
He said: "All of the first cousins would all be extremely close to each other.
"A lot of them would go to school here, would be the same classes. So those little kids are devastated."
Local parents gathered at the primary school to meet staff, as well as officials from the National Educational Psychological Service who were advising them on how to help their children cope with the appalling tragedy.
The school's visibly emotional principal Michelle Doorley read out a statement after the meeting, saying: "We've lost two lovely boys who were a huge part of our school.
"This is a terrible tragedy for the Murphy and Chada families, our school and our community.
"We are deeply saddened by these events," she added.
"Our sympathy and thoughts are with the Murphy and Chada families and friends.
"Our school has a Critical Incident Plan and we are implementing it with support from psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) who are helping to support our community through this tragedy."
By Cormac McQuinn