O'Driscoll family make fresh start after tragedy

O'Driscoll family make fresh start after tragedy

Helen and Tom O’Driscoll at their new home in Charleville.

A CORK man who lived in a mobile home outside his old family house to feel close to the children he lost to a murder-suicide tragedy expects to see it removed this week.

The removal of the mobile home will mark an important part of the grieving process for Helen and Thomas O’Driscoll.

The Charleville couple were left devastated after their son Jonathan took the lives of his nine-year-old twin brothers, Thomas Jr and Paddy, more than four years ago. 

The 20-year old, who had been suffering from mental health issues, died by suicide in the nearby town of Buttevant shortly after the murders. 

Surviving family members were split after Thomas opted to remain on the grounds of the property while Helen stayed in a nearby rented property with the children. 

Now, the family are finally together again after being rehoused by the council over Christmas.

“Seeing the mobile home go will be a blow to Thomas,” Helen acknowledged. 

“He stayed there for so long because he didn’t want to have the boys on their own.” 

Thomas, who suffers from diabetes, was dealt a further blow after recently undergoing a foot amputation. Despite this devastating setback, Helen said she and Thomas are the happiest they have been in a long time.

“This new home has given me the peace I was looking for. Thomas can no longer live in the mobile home because he finds it hard to get around after the operation. He still gets down. I have to remind him to keep his heart open. 

"It’s important that he doesn’t get too down as this could result in him getting sicker. The last few years have been very painful. This is probably the happiest we’ve been since the boys died."

Helen expressed her gratitude to Cork County Council and everyone who helped along the way.

“I would like to say thank you to the council for the fresh start they have given us. They have given us so much help and understanding. It’s not just the council who have been there for us. There were friends, doctors, social workers-who all helped make this happen for us. We are so grateful to everyone. I feel it’s important they know that."

Helen is still passionate about promoting health across the board.

She said that young people need to be listened to in order for things to change.

“Young people are getting up four steps only to fall down three.

Unless the system changes they won’t be able to get out of the dark hole they are in. They are fighting enemies in their souls.” 

Anyone experiencing mental health issues can contact the Samaritans on the freephone number 116123 or text 087-2609090

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