Exclusive: 'He is tearing us apart' - Grieving family claim friend of dead brother is using suicide note to get his life insurance
A grieving family is claiming that a friend of their dead brother is using his suicide note to get access to his lucrative life insurance policy.
Paul Moloney (30) from Limerick died in August 2015 by suicide in Australia.
He had been living in Australia for four years before his death and was working as a chef in a top hotel.
Sister Teresa Moloney told Independent.ie that his sudden death has devastated their family.
"He was soft-hearted and would do anything to help anybody. He was very fun-loving but he was sensitive at times.
"His sudden death did surprise us but I always knew that Paul had mental health problems," Teresa said.
"When he was very young he always felt like he was going to get into trouble. He didn't know at the time that he was suffering from anxiety.
"As he got older he was diagnosed with depression. He finally looked for help and was put on anti-depressants but he had stopped taking them before he died."
Teresa said that Paul left behind letters for the family.
"He left behind letters so his death was planned. He left behind one in particular to his friend where he said that he was leaving everything to him because Paul saw him as his brother.
"We don't really know this person because Paul met him over in Australia. He's now trying to make the letter a legally-binding document because he wants Paul's life insurance policy. It's a hefty amount of money but I think it belongs with us his family, not some stranger."
Paul's siblings have consulted with lawyers in Australia to fight the letter becoming a legally-binding agreement.
"I can't see why the courts would allow his suicide letter to be used as a legally binding agreement as Paul clearly wasn't sound of mind. Paul's friend has issued legal proceedings so we need to get a lawyer to fight the case in Australia. We were told that we need €5,000 up front to get a lawyer."
Teresa said that the family have been left in debt after Paul's passing.
"Myself and my brother had to take out loans to fly family members home to attend Paul's funeral. We also had to pay for the costs of the funeral. I'm a single mum and the anxiety of being surrounded by debt as well as trying to grieve for my brother is overwhelming.
"I don't understand why this friend is trying to take the money that Paul left behind from us. He's dragging the process out for us. We just want to be able to grieve and move on and not be trying to raise legal funds to fight for what is rightfully ours.
"He is tearing our family apart. If this person was so close to Paul, I don't see why he would put Paul's family through such hell. He took advantage of someone with a mental illness. We just want to be able to pay off our debts and move on and grieve for our brother."
The grieving sister said that she wished Paul had come to her with his problems.
"If you have someone suffering with a mental illness always check in. It's easy to feel drained listening to them and they might repeat the same story 20 times. To them it's important that they know that you are there and that you will help them at any time. They don't want to feel like a burden,
You can donate to the family's legal fund here
If you have been affected by any of these issues you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or Pieta House on 01 6235606.