THE daughter of one of three brothers who died in a murder suicide in Mitchelstown has spoken of her family’s sorrow ahead of a fundraiser she is taking part in this weekend for mental health services.
Elaine Hennessy’s dad 60-year-old Paddy and his brother 66-year-old Willie were murdered by their 59-year-old brother Johnny, who then killed himself.
Elaine discovered the bodies of Paddy and Willie at the farm where Johnny lived in February. Johnny’s body was found the following day in the River Funshion, about 5km from his home after a search resulted in the discovery of a car he had been driving close to Killacluig church, outside Mitchelstown.
Gardai believe he killed his two older brothers with an axe in the farmyard at his home sometime the previous evening.
Speaking to the Cork Today show with Patricia Messinger on C103, Ms Hennessy said she has availed of counselling and is now taking part in a sleep out on Saturday night with neighbour Carmel O’Gorman and members of both of their families, to raise funds for low cost counselling in Mitchelstown and Fermoy, for Cork Mental Health.
Speaking of her dad and her two uncles, she said: “They were absolutely the nicest men you will ever meet.” She added: “There will never be men like them again.”
And she said: “They were so easy going…. They were happy with the simple things in life.” Describing her dad as one in a million, she said: “There will never be a man like him again. They were just the best men that ever walked the planet.”
On the nature of their deaths, she said: “In your wildest dreams, no one imagines that anything this horrific would happen to such lovely people. Of course it is surreal. It is like something you would see on a documentary on Netflix. It is not like something you would see in real life.”
Her youngest child was just eight weeks old at the time of the tragedy.
On Saturday night, she and her oldest son Jack will join Carmel O’Gorman and Carmel’s son Mike, as well as Elaine’s mum Stephanie, in the fundraising sleep out.
Because of Covid restrictions, Carmel said the families will do the sleep outs in their own gardens. Carmel ran a support for people with mental health issues in Mitchelstown before the pandemic and says she battled severe depression and anxiety for 29 years herself.
She said they will light lanterns at 5.30 am in memory of everyone who has lost their lives to mental health issues.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the fundraiser can do so by logging on to https://www.corkmentalhealth.com/appeal/sleep-out-to-see-the-dawn-break.