RIEF

Pick Me Up! Special - - Real Life Shattering -

son for the first time.

‘Are you OK?’ I’d ask, but he’d storm off. ‘I’m grand,’ he’d lie. Act­ing out, once he pushed me against a wall. He thought I was with­hold­ing in­for­ma­tion from him, but I wasn’t.

In sum­mer 2013, the doc­tor gave him an­tide­pres­sants and he started coun­selling.

But on 4 Septem­ber 2014, he snapped.

Paddy and Tom Tom got ready for school and I kissed them good­bye, as usual.

‘Be good boys,’ I said, be­fore Thomas and I drove to Water­ford, 84 miles away.

We were buy­ing them a minia­ture bar­rel top gypsy trav­el­ling wagon. They’d al­ways wanted one!

Later on, we were seven miles from home when Jonathan called.

‘I’ve just got the boys from school, so take your time,’ he said. Then Paddy came on.

‘We bought you and Tom Tom a wagon to play with,’ I said.

‘Be a good boy now for your brother.’

‘I will, Mummy,’ he chirped. ‘Love you.’

‘I love you too,’ I told him.

But half an hour later, when we ar­rived home, our lives changed for­ever.

Stopped from en­ter­ing the house, a neigh­bour said they’d called the po­lice.

Paddy and Tom Tom had been killed. What?! Jonathan had stabbed them. A while later of­fi­cers found Jonathan’s body, around 10 miles away.

He’d hanged him­self be­side the Aw­beg River in nearby But­te­vant.

The two knives used to kill the twins were found in the cen­tre of the river.

My three boys, all gone. How does a mother ever get over that?

Wail­ing like a ban­shee, three days passed in a fog of grief for Thomas and I.

An eerie si­lence re­placed the boys’ laugh­ter.

On 7 Septem­ber, Thomas and I walked in front of our boys’ coffins to Holy Cross Church, in Charleville.

Thou­sands came to pay their re­spects – fam­ily mem­bers, friends, even strangers.

Pre­cious Paddy and Tom Tom were buried side by side in Charleville ceme­tery.

Jonathan was laid to rest in Kil­mal­lock, County Limerick.

There was no room to bury them to­gether, as I’d wanted.

Two months later, Thomas and I marked Paddy and Tom Tom’s 10th birth­day with fam­ily at their grave­side.

And in May 2015 we placed a plaque on a tree to mark the spot where Jonathan died.

It said, ‘In lov­ing mem­ory of Jonathan Kevin O’driscoll, passed away 4 Septem­ber 2014, gone but never for­got­ten.’

In Au­gust 2015, an in­quest at Cork Coroner’s Court found that Pa­trick and Thomas had been stabbed to death by their adopted brother, Jonathan, who then took his own life. My poor, trou­bled boy. I don’t blame Jonathan. His de­pres­sion had spi­ralled out of con­trol. I had to for­give him. He was my boy af­ter all. Now I hope that shar­ing our story will help oth­ers, like Jonathan, who’re strug­gling with their men­tal health.

Men, es­pe­cially, find dis­cussing their feel­ings hard.

They must see a doc­tor, if they’re de­pressed and avoid an­other tragedy.

My three boys, all gone. How does a mother get over that?

DE­PRES­SION GOT HOLD OF JONATHAN

Thou­sands came to their funeral

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