The heartbroken family of murdered twins Paddy and Tom O’Driscoll have said a heartbreaking goodbye to the two little boys and the elder brother who killed them.
A packed Holy Cross Church in Charleville heard the boys’ sister Bernadette lead the tributes to the nine-year-olds and their tragic adopted brother Jonathon.
Mass goers heard Bernadette describe Jonathon’s love for the twins he stabbed to death in a jealous frenzy at the family home before taking his own life in a nearby wood.
Bernadette told mourners that she would treasure the special memories they created for the rest of her life, according to a report in the Irish Mirror newspaper.
She said: “To my three brothers, Jonathan, Paddy and Tom Tom, your memories of laughter that we shared together as a family growing up together; I will treasure for the rest of my life.
“I will always love you and I will always miss you. Forever, our family’s heart is broken.
“Also, from our hearts, we say a fond farewell to the three of ye. God will be waiting at the Gates of Heaven to take ye in.”
As the tears flowed, she added: “The whole world is in pain to day at the loss of our family. We all miss ye so much.
“God give us the strength to cope today and day by day.”
Described as lovable rogues, Thomas and Patrick were buried in tiny white coffins at the local cemetery, while Jonathon’s casket was interned in Kilmallock, some eight miles away.
Mourners cried openly as Helen touched each of the three coffins during the ceremony then helped to carry all three for burial.
Police believe Jonathon killed the boys in a jealous rage as he struggled to cope with the fact he was adopted.
The Irish Mirror added that local priest Fr Tom Naughton, speaking at the funeral, urged society to help fight the scourge of male depression and suicide.
Fr Naughton said: “If these days have taught us anything at all, they challenge us to continue and to increase our efforts to understand and to assist, especially young males, to communicate the darkness that seems to be increasingly troubling young minds and hearts.
“We are also here to ask God to take care of these boys until, through His understanding, compassion and love, we are permitted to meet with them again where there is no more pain, no more sickness of mind or of body, no more brokenness of any sort, no more saying good-bye, no more offending God or hurting others and no more having to die.
“Trust in God still and trust in me’ are Jesus’ words – the words not of some comfortable, well-heeled do-gooder but of one who in His own body felt the pain of all innocent victims, as well as embracing those who cause such hurt when they are sincerely sorry for it in their hearts; once the dark and disturbing clouds of confusion and pain have been blown away forever.”
Fr Naughton also told mourners how close Jonathan and Paddy and Tom Tom had been.
He added: “All three boys went hunting together. They were lovable and full of fun.
“They loved their football, hurling and boxing and Jonathan often took them to Doneraile Park to play. It was their favorite place.
“The twins were lovable rogues. They were fun-loving and energetic. They loved playing with their friends.
“They were very honest, direct and straight. They said it as it was. They knew how to say sorry and were famous for their hugs.”
Fr Naughton also said that no answers would be found ‘at this side of the grave’ for why Jonathan killed his brothers before taking his own life.
He continued: “We have never had more activities and recreations, all sorts of noises and acquaintances around us yet, at the same time, it seems that never have people been so lonely and lonesome! Why is this the case and what must we do to regain the simple joy of a serene and peaceful mind?”