Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland teen Cole Murray takes own life 10 weeks after becoming dad - heartbroken mum's anguish

Cole Murray
Cole Murray
Brett Campbell

By Brett Campbell

The mother of a Co Armagh teenager who became a doting father weeks before he took his own life has paid tribute to her "loving and gentle" son.

Yvonne Murray (41), who has been numb with grief since the death of her eldest son Cole (17) on Friday, recalled how he left a bar of chocolate for her on her bed the night before he died in tragic circumstances.

"He was always doing kind things like that," she said.

"I sent him a message to thank him and we chatted away - everything was good."

The following morning Yvonne told her son "I love you" as she left their home at Greenfield Way in Armagh city.

"We always say that," she said.

"We said it even if they were followed by a slamming door because you never know when it will be the last time."

Cole Murray with baby Mason
Cole Murray with baby Mason

The mum-of-two was left devastated when she returned home later in afternoon to discover that she had indeed uttered those words for the last time.

"I screamed and I screamed," she said.

"His brother ran to get our neighbour who came and tried to resuscitate him but nothing could be done.

Yvonne Murray with her two sons Jenson (left) and Cole
Yvonne Murray with her two sons Jenson (left) and Cole
Cole Murray

"I begged him to come back and promised him we'll fix it all, but he was gone."

Last night his heartbroken mum said Cole made the most of every day he had with his son Mason, who is 10 weeks old today.

"Cole loved babies, but this was his own flesh and blood," she said.

"He was a doting dad who enjoyed every day he had with him. His last text to me was about Mason, he said 'he's so class'."

The Southern Regional College student, who was known by the nickname Roley, enjoyed sports and went out of his way to eat healthily, a passion he shared with his brother Jenson (15).

"I remember dropping them off for boxing training sessions. It was absolutely beautiful to watch them skipping off together as friends," his mum recalled.

But the business diploma student and former City of Armagh High pupil was primarily focused on following in the footsteps of his businessman grandfather Xavier, who owns a protective clothing store in Co Monaghan.

"My dad was Cole's idol," Ms Murray said.

"He built his business from nothing and Cole loved being in his shop from he was only two years old, he definitely shared his entrepreneurial spirit."

She said her "generous" son understood the importance of hard work and dreamt of one day owning a nice car.

"Cole was a wee petrolhead whose first book was the Auto Trader," she said.

"I think his first word was 'Merc' because he always wanted a Mercedes like his Granda.

"He passed his driving test two weeks after his birthday in September and was always out tinkering with his wee Clio."

But above all Ms Murray said her son will be remembered as a someone to be proud of.

"He was so quiet, loving and gentle," she added.

"He was a gentleman to everybody and they just loved him."

Yvonne said she has been overwhelmed by the amount of people who have travelled to her home to offer their condolences.

"People have come from up and down the country, which is a testimony of just how popular he was," she said.

Rev David McMillan from Armagh Free Presbyterian Church, where Cole attended youth club for 14 years, said leaders there had been left "deeply shocked and saddened" by the tragedy.

"They loved Cole and he was very close to them," he said.

"They are completely heartbroken by this."

The father-of-one will be laid to rest in St Mary's Urbleshanny Church Cemetery in Scotstown, Co Monaghan, following a funeral service in Armagh Free Presbyterian Church at 1.30pm.

The family have requested donations go towards supporting suicide prevention.

If you, or anyone close to you, is affected by any issues in this article, contact the Samaritans free on 116 123 or Lifeline on 080 8808 8000

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