Children of couple who died in murder-suicide call for mental health not to be ignored

Children of couple who died in murder-suicide call for mental health not to be ignored

The children of a local couple who died in an apparent murder-suicide outside Dundalk 19 months ago have spoken about the need for mental health services to be supported.

An inquest into the deaths of Marie and Jim Quigley from Newtownbalregan on the afternoon of July 27th 2015 took place in Dundalk yesterday.

According to a report in The Irish Independent, the jury heard that Ms Quigley had been attacked at her home more than a dozen times with a blunt object like a hammer, causing severe head injuries. She had also suffered scald wounds, had been stabbed and had a towel stuffed in her mouth. A verdict of unlawful killing was returned.

The inquest also heard from witnesses who saw her husband Jim drive on the hard shoulder of the M1 northbound against the flow of traffic before pulling out into the path of a HGV.

An open verdict was returned in his case in accordance with the medical evidence that death was due to crush injuries.

Following the inquest the couple’s four children Kieran, Sonya, Mark and Gavin Quigley issued a statement to the media saying they lived with the tragedy every day.

They also asked that mental health services not be ignored.

Their statement read: “We thank all our family and riends for their continued support and we know they walk this sad journey with us every day. We thank the relevant agencies who assisted in the immediate aftermath of this tragedy.

“The sense of losing both parents is overwhelming and we are living with this tragedy every minute of every day. We can only pray time will ease the heartache and heal our souls. We hope people can understand what we have been through and hope that when today concludes, that our grieving can progress and we ask the media to respect our privacy.

“We lived with our father’s mental illness all our lives. In recent years our father had some major physical health problems and coupled with the enormous medication along with his mental health problems, we know now he was beyond helping. Jim was a loving father and husband, and Marie, a dearly loved and devoted wife and mother who supported Jim throughout his illness and that is why she isn’t here today.

“Again we would like to thank friends, family and the general public for their continued support. Mental health is a form of disease which is sometimes not visibly noticeable and which this country is rampant with, but it should not be ignored.

“The family will not be making any further comments in this matter and would ask the media to respect their privacy.”

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