Saturday 18 November 2017

Stunned family try to fathom what triggered this tragedy

Sanjeev Chada (43) and his two children Eoghan (10) and Ruairi (5)
Sanjeev Chada (43) and his two children Eoghan (10) and Ruairi (5)
The home of brothers Eoghan and Ruairi Chada in Ballinkillen, Co Carlow

SANJEEV Chada's relatives are "traumatised" and searching for answers following their tragic loss of Ruairi and Eoghan.

Members of Mr Chada's family want to speak for him but are first waiting for the full story to emerge about the deaths of the two boys.

Mr Chada's brother Keshev was at the family home in Ballinkillen, Co Carlow, when word came that the bodies of his nephews had been found in Sanjeev's crashed car in Mayo.

Keshev was said yesterday to be said to be "traumatised" at the news of the tragedy.

Having travelled from his home in Newcastle, Co Down, he had been with the family all morning as they waited for news of Sanjeev.

Several calls were made to Sanjeev's family in the North and in Britain while the boys and their father were missing.

But concern for their safety grew when Sanjeev Chada's family confirmed that they had not heard from him.

Other relatives of Sanjeev Chada said they were searching for answers as to what triggered the tragedy.

A cousin of Sanjeev Chada told the Irish Independent that relatives had been in a state of shock since details of the killings emerged on Monday.

"I would like to say something, to speak for him, but it is hard to speak for someone until you know the underlying circumstances," said the cousin, who asked not to be named.

A fuller picture emerged yesterday of Sanjeev Chada as a stay-at-home father who was closely involved in community activities in his home village and a keen golfer.

Mr Chada was known locally as 'Sanj'. He is listed as the handicap secretary and PRO of the Ballinkillen Golf Society and was part of the four-man team that won the society's first event at Gowran Park Golf Club, Co Kilkenny, in March.

Golf society president, former Carlow inter-county footballer and hurler Cyril Hughes, described Mr Chada as "just an ordinary guy, basically".

Mr Hughes said the golf society was "an offshoot" of the local hurling club where Mr Chada's sons Eoghan and Ruairi featured on juvenile teams.

Mr Chada, who works part-time as an IT consultant, is said to play soccer in a local five-a-side league and is a committee member at the local community centre.


Most of Sanjeev Chada's relatives live in the North, to which his grandfather, Champi Chada, emigrated from the Indian province of Punjab during the 1960s.

The family set up a drapery business. According to relatives, Sanjeev's parents, Kamal and Bimla, moved to London "30 or 35 years ago".

They raised their family there but Sanjeev later put down roots first in Dublin and then in Co Kilkenny after meeting his wife, Kathleen Murphy, who had studied nursing at Kingston Hospital in Surrey.

He initially worked for a bank but later became a stay-at-home father, while Kathleen worked in a Dublin fertility clinic.

Keshev also returned to live in Ireland, settling in Co Down.

"The Chada family in Northern Ireland is very close-knit and quite well respected. This sort of stuff just doesn't happen in our family," the cousin said.

Sanjeev Chada's grand-uncle KT Chada, who lives in Portadown, Co Armagh, said: "The family would have lived in mid-Ulster. His grandfather had a business selling drapery. It was a door-to-door business"

He said Sanjeev's father had died five years ago, but his mother was still living in London.

Like everyone else in the family, KT Chada said they were waiting for the full story to emerge.

By Shane Phelan  and Cormac McQuinn

Irish Independent

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