Tuesday 6 December 2016

'The first step is always going to be the hardest... but if you look, you’ll find it' - Mother of tragic Charleville brothers

Published 05/09/2015 | 06:48

Twin brothers Patrick and Thomas O'Driscoll. Inset: Jonathan O'Driscoll with his brothers
Twin brothers Patrick and Thomas O'Driscoll. Inset: Jonathan O'Driscoll with his brothers
Jonathan O’Driscoll with his twin nine-year-old brothers Thomas ‘TomTom’ (left) and Patrick ‘Paddy'
Jonathan O'Driscoll (centre) with his twin brothers Patrick and Thomas. Photo: UTV/PA Wire
Helen O'Driscoll
Thomas and Patrick O'Driscoll
Jonathan O'Driscoll. Photo: UTV/PA Wire

The mother of two boys who were stabbed by their brother, and who later took his own life, has appealed for anybody who is experiencing mental health difficulties to seek help.

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Jonathan O’Driscoll (21) took his own life less than an hour after the bodies of his twin brothers - Patrick ‘Paddy’ and Thomas ‘TomTom’ O’Driscoll (9) - were discovered with multiple stab wounds in the family home at Deerpark, Charleville, Co Cork.

The twins died just over an hour after they had been brought home from national school by their brother.

Minutes earlier, Jonathan had brought the twins to a local park so they could enjoy the autumn sunshine before they started their homework.

Thomas and Helen O'Driscoll at the inquest into their sons' deaths, at Mallow Court Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Thomas and Helen O'Driscoll at the inquest into their sons' deaths, at Mallow Court Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

The twins were fatally attacked in their bedrooms as they changed out of their school uniforms on September 4 last year.

Jonathan, who had a history of mental health problems, was discovered dead an hour later in woodland outside Buttevant, some 15km away.

Helen O'Driscoll
Helen O'Driscoll

In an emotional interview on last night’s Late Late Show, the boys’ mother, Helen, said she remains heartbroken by the loss of her three boys.

She made an impassioned appeal for anybody who is battling mental health problems to seek professional help.

Jonathan O'Driscoll (centre) with his twin brothers Patrick and Thomas. Photo: UTV/PA Wire
Jonathan O'Driscoll (centre) with his twin brothers Patrick and Thomas. Photo: UTV/PA Wire

“For anyone who is down, or in a black hole that you don’t want to come out of any more, there is help out there,” she said.

“You should really climb that barrier to get the medicine and the help that you need. It is out there, you just have to look for it.

Thomas and Patrick O'Driscoll
Thomas and Patrick O'Driscoll

“The first step is always going to be hardest step. But if you look for it, you’ll find it. You might have some chance of a life.”

She insisted that she has forgiven Jonathan and can never think ill of him because of what happened.

“He was suffering from schizophrenia, paranoia and depression. We knew he suffered with depression but we didn’t think it was as bad as it was,” she said.

She said he loved his brothers.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say, my heart is in bits.

“It’ll take a long time for that to heal up, if it ever heals, “ she added.

If any of the above issues have affected you, you can call The Samaritans for free in the Republic of Ireland on 116 123. If you are in Northern Ireland, you can call 08457 90 90 90

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