Wednesday 17 January 2018

Mum who lost three sons in tragic murder-suicide begs young people to 'let their problems out'

Jonathan O'Driscoll. Photo: UTV/PA Wire
Jonathan O'Driscoll. Photo: UTV/PA Wire
Helen O'Driscoll at the gravesite of her sons. Photo: UTV/PA Wire
Parents Thomas and Helen O'Driscoll at their twin sons Thomas and Paddy funeral mass in Charleville (Photo:Mark Condren)
Jonathan O'Driscoll (centre) with his twin brothers Patrick and Thomas. Photo: UTV/PA Wire
Thomas and Patrick O'Driscoll. Photo: UTV/PA Wire
Helen O'Driscoll at the gravesite of her sons, as she has said that she forgives her adopted son Jonathan for killing his nine-year-old twin brothers Thomas and Patrick before taking his own life following the double murder at in their home in Charleville, Cork. Photo: UTV/PA Wire
Helen O'Driscoll

Ralph Riegel and Denise Calnan

The Cork mother who lost three sons in an horrific murder suicide has appealed to young people to 'pick up the phone and let it out' if they feel they cannot share their problems with their family.

Helen O'Driscoll lost her sons Jonathan (21), Paddy and Thomas (9) in early September when Jonathan took his own life less than an hour after fatally stabbing his twin brothers.

The twins were discovered with multiple stab wounds in separate bedrooms at their Deerpark home outside Charleville in Co Cork.

Today, she begged young people who my be suffering from depression to share their problems.

"I beg them, I beg them from the bottom of my heart, if any child feels down and has voices in their head or feel they're not able to go on anymore, if they can't talk to their family or their parents, pick up a phone and phone somebody and let it all out and tell them," she said.

Helen' whose son Jonathan had a history of mental health problems, said she has forgiven her son.

"I could never be angry with Jonathan," she told Cork's Red FM.

"I wouldn't be his mother if I was angry with him."

The Charleville mother also said her family and her extended family on her husband's side 'keep her going'.

The emotional interview comes as the family revealed that their eldest boy, upset at delays in accessing details of his adoption, received a letter 48 hours after his death saying his file was being opened.

The young man's inability to obtain full details of his adoption file became a source of enormous distress to him.

He was also worried over an impending court case.

The boys' mother, Helen O'Driscoll, has now revealed the agonising quirk of fate that Jonathan received a letter from a State agency just 48 hours after his death saying his file was being opened.

"I don't know… if it had arrived earlier Jonathan might be alive and with us today," she told

Helen also said that she hopes and prays that if any of Jonathan's birth relatives ever discover their connection to him they will appreciate the great lengths he undertook to make contact.

"He did everything he could to find them," she said.

"It is like a piece of your heart that is gone forever. You will never get it back either but you know they are in God's hands. I just wish that God would have left them with me for a little bit longer," Helen added.

Thomas and Helen now want to demolish the Deerpark property and build a new replacement home on the site.

They are living in a caravan and motor-home behind the 50-year-old council cottage in which their twin sons died.

"We don't want to live in there - not after what happened," Thomas said.

The couple insists on remaining at the site given all the happy memories of the children they raised there.

"That yard is our children's playground - we will never, ever leave it," Helen said.

But they are pleading for a new house with no reminders of that awful September 4 day.

"We don't want to be reminded of what happened in there," she added.

"But this place is our home too and we don't want to leave either because of the boys," they said.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News