Family rallies to comfort bereaved mother
Kathleen Chada comforted following deaths of sons Eoghan and Ruairí
Eoghan Chada, who was found dead in a crashed car near Westport, Co Mayo, yesterday.
Ruairí Chada, who was found dead in a crashed car near Westport, Co Mayo, yesterday.
Kathleen Chada, the mother of the two boys discovered dead in a car near Westport, Co Mayo yesterday, was being comforted by family and friends at her home at Ballinkillen, outside Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, last night.
Ms Chada reported her husband Sanjeev and her two sons, Eoghan and Ruairí, missing at about 1.30am yesterday.
A major Garda search operation continued throughout yesterday until the bodies of the children were discovered in a crashed car yesterday afternoon near Rossbeg pier, Westport, Co Mayo.
Mr Chada (43), who is originally from India but has been living in Ireland for many years, left the family home with the two boys at about 6.30pm on Sunday. He said he was taking the two boys on a bowling outing to the Dome Bowling Centre in Carlow town.
However, they never arrived at the bowling alley and gardaí were alerted when they had not arrived home in the early hours of yesterday. It is understood Mr Chada worked in the financial sector until recently but was lately out of work. Well known in the Ballinkillen and Bagenalstown areas, having settled locally years ago, he was involved in the community council.
His wife, Kathleen, who is from Ballinkillen, is a nurse. Her parents, Willie and Patsy Murphy, live nearby. The Chadas built their house on the edge of her family’s farm some years ago.
A family acquaintance said the two boys were “the most beautiful children” and were very popular with their school friends and everyone in the community. Both Eoghan and Ruairí attended Ballinkillen National School where Ruairí had just completed his junior infants year. They were both involved in sport in the area. “This is just very, very sad, full stop,” the family friend said.
Parish priest of Bagenalstown, Fr Declan Foley, was with Ms Chada and her extended family when she received word from gardaí about the boys’ deaths. “It was devastating. I can’t describe the emotion and the atmosphere in the house,” he said last night.
“The tragic event of losing your only two boys and the impact of that in itself – you would wonder is it ever something you could deal with. It’s something that takes a part of your heart away,” he said.
‘Pillars of the community’
The family was described as “salt of the earth” and the Murphys are regarded locally as “pillars of the community in Ballinkillen”,which is about 6kms from Bagenalstown. Ms Chada’s mother, Patsy, is the sacristan at the local St Laserian’s Church while the older of the two boys had been an altar-server.
Gardaí said taking the boys was “certainly out of character” for Mr Chada and led to them having “huge concerns” about their safety before the bodies were found at the car crash site in Co Mayo yesterday afternoon.
Local councillor Denis Foley said: “I know the [Kathleen’s] mother and father [Patsy and Willie Murphy] very well and they’re lovely people. They don’t deserve this. But it’s a terrible thing for the poor children. Innocent children who trust everybody and to find themselves in that situation.”
The Chada home is located near the scene of a double tragedy last year when local farmer Michael Jordan (51) shot his brother-in-law George Rothwell (70) dead, before killing himself with a shotgun.