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Heartbroken mother: 'Murder suicide crisis has been brushed under the carpet'


Una Butler with daughter Ella

Una Butler with daughter Ella

Flowers pictured outside family home of the Greaney family at O’Neill Place in Cobh, co. Cork

Flowers pictured outside family home of the Greaney family at O’Neill Place in Cobh, co. Cork


Una Butler with daughter Ella

A WOMAN who lost her husband and two little girls to a murder-suicide warned it is "frightening" how many such cases are now occurring.

Una Butler claimed Ireland has effectively "brushed under the carpet" the murder-suicide crisis now rocking local communities.

She is still struggling to recover from the nightmare of discovering that her husband, John (41), had killed their two daughters, Zoe (6) and Ella (2), at their east Cork home on November 16 2010.

The distraught man then took his own life a short distance from the family home in Ballycotton.

Una said that she does not want to comment on specific cases such as the tragedy in Cobh that claimed the lives of Michael (53) and Valerie (49) Greaney last Sunday.

But she said Ireland urgently has to do something so that future tragedies are prevented.

"It is really frightening how frequently murder-suicides are now occurring in Ireland.

"But the only time you hear anyone calling for something to be done about them is when the media are writing about them happening."

"I am waiting four years for a review from the Health Service Executive (HSE). There need to be major studies undertaken and greater supports and funding for the mental health system."

Una said her husband was left with absolutely no safety net after his treatment for mental health problems.

"Patient confidentiality is important but we shouldn't put it on such a pedestal because it is important that families are consulted and involved in treatment programmes."

"They are involved in cases like cancer care so why not mental health?