independent

Saturday 16 February 2019

'Troubled young man' who was on bail for possession of knives

Jonathan O'Driscoll.
Jonathan O'Driscoll.

THE troubled young man, Jonathan O'Driscoll (21) was charged and then bailed at Mallow District court last Tuesday for unlawful possession of a knife, and just two days later he stabbed his nine year-old twin brothers to death.

He was charged with unlawful possession of knives and other articles at Kilknockan for an offence on February 11, 2014. There was also a charge for failing to provide a breath sample at Mallow Garda station on February 12, 2014.

He had been arrested by Gardai for having a Stanley knife. Someone had also spotted him "driving dangerously" and when Gardai stopped him, they found the knife.

His case had been adjourned many times and on the April 1, 2014 court sitting, a psychiatric report had been sought. At last week's sitting in Mallow, his case was only in for mention. However, the psychiatric report was to be before the court on October 14.

He was described as a 'troubled youth on medication for mental health'. He wasn't working and was just about to start a Fás course.

He was fostered by Thomas and Helen when he was a young baby and later adopted.

According to reports, in his teenage years, Jonathan had seemed troubled and withdrawn. He had split up with his girlfriend and was on medication and had various health issues.

Another person said that he had "big issues about finding his natural parents," and had become somewhat, fixated with the concept of his adoption.

One local man said that he started going by a different surname, and had also changed his name on his Facebook page.

"It was an issue with him," the man said. "He had been in touch with the Health Service Executive and was going down the route of the Freedom of Information Act to get information."

He said that "resentments" had built up in his head over time.

The twins were the biological children of Helen and Thomas O'Driscoll. Gardai will be investigating whether this was one of the reasons he harboured murderous intentions towards them.

According to a source, Jonathan had also acquired another new knife and Gardai now know where and when this knife was purchased.

On the day of the horrific murder/suicide, Jonathan had collected the twins from school at around 3.15pm.

The Corkman understands that at around this time, he phoned his mother, Helen, on her mobile phone, to ask if he could take them to Doneraile Wildlife Park, which was about six miles away. It was the twins' favourite place to play.

It appears that at 4.30pm, Patrick phoned his mother on her mobile. Gardai are now trying to establish what was said. But according to some friends of the family, it seems there wasn't anything untoward in the call. One friend said the conversation went along the lines of the parents telling Paddy they were on their way home with something nice for the children.

That was Helen's last conversation with Patrick, also known as 'Paddy'.

Thirty minutes after that phone call, Paddy and Thomas were stabbed to death by their older brother.

At around 5.05pm, the O'Driscoll's neighbour was in his yard next door painting when five year-old Jimmy ran out, shouting: "Jonathan's after killing my brothers."

The twins were found in two separate rooms in the house. Gardai from Charleville arrived to the scene within minutes. One senior guard said: "It was horrendous, the worst scene I ever saw."

Corkman

News