Call for people with mental health issues to seek help

Daughter tells funeral that Jimmy and Kathleen Cuddihy were ‘loving, kind and beautiful people’

The funeral of Kathleen and Jimmy Cuddihy en route to the Church of the Sacred Heart in Carndonagh, Co Donegal. Photograph: Trevor McBride

People with mental-health problems must seek professional help, said the daughter of a couple killed in their Co Donegal home.

Maureen Cuddihy was speaking at the funeral of her parents Jimmy and Kathleen at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Carndonagh today.

The couple were found dead at their home in Churchtown last Thursday morning. An axe was found at the scene by gardaí.

Kathleen and Jimmy Cuddihy who were found dead in their home at Caarndonagh in Co Donegal. Photograph: North West Newspix

Their youngest son Julian (42) has been charged with their murders and Judge Kevin Kilrane has ordered a psychiatric report on him.


Daughter's appeal

Their daughter Maureen appealed to people with depression or other mental-health issues to tell somebody.

“Please seek help. There are are so many brilliant services available and I’d urge anyone feeling low to talk. Don’t wait. Get help before you do something that will cause such great pain to your family,” she said.

She described her parents as loving, kind and beautiful people. “When they worked together on a project they were like a force of nature. As both captain and president of the golf club they strived to make it the best club it could be.

“Over the last five days we’ve come to realise how popular and much-loved our parents were and just how many people they actually helped.

“Mum [a nurse] must have had half of Inishowen in the back of the ambulance and Dad has taught so many people maths over the years and given them grinds.

“They were wonderful parents to all of us and when money was tight in the house there was always money for education. Education would set us free, they told us.

“They were so kind and caring. Mum always gave us supplies when we went away. Even when we were getting a plane to London, she’d be trying to give us bags of turf and food,” she said.

Resting place

An eerie silence hung over the Inishowen market town as the couple were taken to their final resting place. Businesses closed and people lined the streets of the town on the Inishowen Peninsula.

The coffins of Jimmy (77) and Kathleen (73) were carried from their home at Churchtown for about 200m along the Buncrana Road followed by hundreds of people and led by a Garda escort.

The mourners were led by three of the couple’s four children: James, Delilah and Maureen. The two hearses were given a guard of honour by local ambulance staff – a reflection of Kathleen’s years of dedicated service as a nurse.

At the entrance to the church, teachers and staff from Carndonagh Community School, where Jimmy had taught maths, also gave a guard of honour.

Hundreds of people stood outside the church beneath a bright October sun. Inside Fr Con McLaughlin led the funeral Mass assisted by the Bishop of Derry, the Most Rev Donal McKeown.

Fr McLaughlin recalled how Jimmy had taught him metalwork many decades ago. He said the couple had touched the lives and hearts of everyone in the community through their work and personal lives.