KEYS TO THE FUTURE FOR FOR HELEN
‘SANTA’ BROUGHT O’DRISCOLL FAMILY A NEW HOME, AWAY FROM SCENE OF TRAGEDY
CHARLEVILLE woman Helen O’Driscoll (pictured) holds the keys to her new home and a fresh start - which ‘Santa’ delivered to her family on Christmas Day.
Helen and her family have wanted a new home ever since their son Jonathan (21) murdered his two brothers – twins Thomas and Patrick (9) – in September 2014, before taking his own life. Delivered by Cork Co Council on December 17, Helen waited until Christmas to spring the big surprise on her sons, Jimmy (9) and Martin (8). “You should have seen their faces. They are just so happy ... especially after all the trauma they have been through,” said Helen.
AS Christmas presents go it was one to remember with happiness for the O’Driscoll family who five years ago lost three sons in a shocking double murder-suicide.
Thomas and Helen O’Driscoll moved out of their council home in Charleville where their eldest son, Jonathan, killed his twin nine year-old brothers, Paddy and Thomas, before taking his own life in September 2014.
While the house was ready to move into on December 17 last, the key was delivered by Santa on Christmas morning for their young sons, Jimmy (9) and Martin (8). The two boys wanted a new home for Christmas and Santa left a map with all of the directions on Christmas morning.
They followed the map to their new house where Helen already had the Christmas tree up and all the presents underneath it.
With a beaming smile, Helen said: “You should have seen their faces. They are just so happy to be in their own home at last, particularly after all the trauma they have been through.
“They love this house even though we don’t have much in furniture of fittings, we are thrilled to be here. There is a very large garden and the boys have freedom to play ball, cycle their bikes and enjoy their own space.”
Few will forget the horrific crime which shocked the nation on September 4, 2014.
An inquest heard that Jonathan had collected his four brothers from school and crèche while his parents were in Waterford collecting a present for the twins’ birthday that afternoon.
As the twins were changing out of their school uniform in their bedrooms, they were stabbed over 40 times each and their bodies were found by their parents.
Jonathan left the home and took his own life at a secluded spot on the banks of the Awbeg River in Buttevant and the knives were found in the river.
The inquest heard that a relationship breakup, the suicide of a close cousin, his quest for information about his birth family, and concerns over a pending court appearance linked to a minor road traffic offence had all combined to send Jonathan into a depression. The inquest also heard that Jonathan had a number of psychiatric disorders.
And despite some intermittent engagement with the mental health services and an improvement in his mental health in the weeks before the murder-suicide, it emerged that he had stopped taking his medication just days before he stabbed his twin brothers to death.
After the horrific double murder-suicide, the family never moved back to the house. Since the boys’ funeral Thomas and Helen were repeatedly promised that the old house, in which they believe the spirits of their twins still wander, would be knocked down and that they would be given a new home.
Helen lived in rented accommodation and with relatives and friends so that her sons could stay at their local school, while Thomas stayed in a mobile home behind the house to be close to his dead sons.
Helen, with her husband Tom, at their new home in Charleville.
Martin and Jimmy with Princess, their 3yr old Chihuahua, in their new home.
The O’Driscolls former home, scene of the tragedy in 2014.