Belfast Telegraph

Mum 'forgives son who killed twins'

A grieving mother has said she forgives her son for killing his nine-year-old twin brothers before taking his own life.

Thomas and Patrick O'Driscoll, known affectionately as Tom Tom and Paddy, were stabbed to death in their home in Charleville, Cork, three weeks ago today.

Within an hour older brother Jonathan, adopted by the O'Driscoll family as a youngster, was found dead in woods.

In her only interview since the tragedy, distraught mother Helen told UTV Live Tonight she cannot bear to live in the house where the killings occurred.

"He's just my baby boy, my pride and joy. My rock, he was the bone of our family," she said.

"I could never hate him, I know people do hate him. I know the wider community, the travelling community hates him but as I've said one hundred and one times I'm his mother, I forgive him and I couldn't give a hoot what the whole world would say about my son, because I know him as the boy that I reared."

Mrs O'Driscoll said she wanted to speak out to plead with young people who have problems to talk to someone they are close to.

It has emerged that as 21-year-old Jonathan fled the family home after the attack he said goodbye to a younger sibling playing on a trampoline in the backyard.

Mrs O'Driscoll said she spoke to one of her twins Paddy 15 minutes before he died.

She had been in Waterford with her husband Thomas to buy the boys a handmade miniature wagon.

There was no sign of anxiety among her children when she rang, she said.

"Paddy said to me 'mum did you get my wagon?' I said I did son, I've got it in the back of the van for you. So, I said you and Tom Tom will have to help daddy and Jonathan, to put the wheels on it," she said.

"He said 'right mummy, right right, right'. They were so happy."

The couple have been living in a caravan in the garden of the house since the tragedy unable to bring themselves to stay in the bungalow.

Mrs O'Driscoll described Jonathan as a private young man.

Adopted when he was a youngster, it is believed he may have been struggling with not knowing who his biological parents were.

Mrs O'Driscoll said she wanted to speak out in the hope that another family does not have to go through the same anguish and to send a message about the need for young people to talk through their problems.

"They need to look at me, if they do harm to themselves or any of their other siblings, their mother and their father will be going through what me and my husband and my children are going through. I wouldn't wish that on no mother," she said.

"And if you have problems or trouble, if you can talk to your mother or your father, even if they're not yours or whatever, if they reared you they loved you just as much as they love their own, talk to them.

"Try to get help, if it's only a phone you have to pick up and there's a person to talk to you or somebody that you feel comfortable like an aunt or an uncle, anybody. But just talk."

Mrs O'Driscoll spoke about the horrifying moment she returned home with her husband on the afternoon of September 4 to find the boys dead.

"I just asked Jesus and the blessed lady to not let it be true, I just kept praying until we got home. When we got up home, I seen all cars and guards and I didn't know what was wrong," she said.

"A lovely guard came up to me and all she said to me was 'Helen, your boys are gone'. At that stage I broke down and I know people might say what was wrong because I was looking for my John, I wanted my John."

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