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Antrim murder-sucide: Classmates of couple’s children to be offered counselling

By Victoria McMahon

Published 05/10/2010

The North Eastern Education and Library Board confirmed it will be offering counselling at the school of the three siblings — Leah, Daniel and Cal, aged between 5 and 10 — left orphaned by the double tragedy.

Templepatrick Primary School principal Ray Cromie said: “The school community will be offering support to those involved to enable the children to return to school as soon as possible.”

A spokesman for the North Eastern Education and Library Board said: “The Board’s critical incident support team is arranging to offer counselling support for any staff or pupils who request it.

“The principal and staff at the children’s school in Templepatrick have been very shocked by the weekend’s events.”

It is understood the three youngsters could return to their Ballyclare school by the end of the week, after their parents’ funerals, in a desperate bid by heartbroken relatives to try and keep things “as normal for them as possible”, a friend said.

The Belfast Telegraph has also been told murdered Sharon’s mother Carmel Barclay, who made the devastating discovery of her daughter’s lifeless body, has vowed to look after her orphaned grandchildren and bring them up the “way Sharon would have wanted”.

The heartbroken grandmother won a community excellence award from Antrim Council last June for her service as a dedicated volunteer with children’s organisation Homestart.

Organisers were impressed with how the big-hearted |volunteer had devoted hours of her free time to supporting families.

It was said: “Carmel dedicates her time to helping families by giving up her own time each week, enthusiastically and unfailingly.

“She is a great listener, understands what parents are going through and forms a strong bond with each family.

“To many, her visits are a lifesaver and looked forward to very much.

“There have been several times during her service to Homestart where she has had to support more than one family and has proved capable and more than willing of doing this just to ensure a family doesn't go without help.”

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