Monday 16 December 2019

We must do more to help troubled youths - priest

A caravan displays pictures of the O'Driscoll brothers at their funeral at the Church of the Holy Cross in Charleville. Photo: Mark Condren
A caravan displays pictures of the O'Driscoll brothers at their funeral at the Church of the Holy Cross in Charleville. Photo: Mark Condren

Ralph Riegel

A MURDER-suicide that claimed the lives of three young brothers is a challenge to Ireland to do more to help people with "the darkness troubling young minds".

The plea came from Fr Tom Naughton as emotional scenes marked the funerals of Jonathan O'Driscoll (21) and his twin brothers, Patrick 'Paddy' and Thomas 'TomTom' O'Driscoll (9).

The twins died from multiple stab wounds sustained at the family's home in Charleville, Co Cork, last Thursday.

Jonathan (21) was discovered dead in woodland just outside Buttevant, some 15km away. He had taken his own life.

The boys' sister, Bernadette O'Driscoll, said their hearts were broken.

"To my three brothers - Jonathan, Paddy and Tom Tom - I will always love you and I will always miss you.

"Forever, our family's hearts are broken. From our hearts, God will be waiting at the gates of heaven to take ye in."

More than 500 people attended the Requiem Mass of the brothers who were laid out before the altar of Charleville's Church of the Holy Cross in matching white coffins.

The coffins of the twins flanked that of their elder brother.

Fr Naughton, who was assisted by the Bishop of Cloyne Dr William Crean and eight other priests, said Ireland had to take action over such tragedies.

"If these days have taught us anything at all, they challenge us to continue and to increase our efforts to understand and to assist, especially young males, to communicate the darkness that seems to be increasingly troubling young minds and hearts.

"It is possible that we have never had more activities and recreations, all sorts of noises and acquaintances around us yet, at the same time, it seems that never have people been so lonely and lonesome."

The twins were described as "lovable rogues" who were "famous for their hugs".

"The day Jonathan came into Helen and Thomas's lives was the happiest day of their lives," he added.

The twins were buried side-by-side in Charleville cemetery while Jonathan was buried in Kilmallock, Co Limerick.

Irish Independent

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