Monageer tragedy raises lack of services

A tragic killing of an entire family in Co Wexford has spotlighted the need for round-the-clock psychiatric services.

Adrian and Kiara Dunne and their daughters, Leanne, 5, and Shania, 3, were found dead at their home in Monageer yesterday afternoon.

Mr Dunne had suffered from visual impairment, which deteriorated recently.

The Irish Times reports that concerns were raised for the family's safety on Friday after Mr Dunne called an undertaker about a burial plot for himself, his wife and the children.

Local gardai asked two priests to visit the family at the weekend.

The priests found the house closed up and no response.

The chief executive of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC), Paul Gilligan, said on radio this morning that the deaths raised serious questions.

He called for an investigation into whether the tragedy could have been prevented.

The local Health Service Executive says there are out-of-hours services. However gardai who contacted the HSE at the weekend were told no social worker was available.

Pauline Ryan, HSE manager in Wexford, said the Dunne family were not on the 'at risk' register.

Senator David Norris said today that in an Ireland where people could shop all day every day, health services shut down for the weekend on Friday evening.

The Health Service Executive South-Eastern Region says it will issue a statement today.


1950 - 24/04/2007 13:22

I wonder if Adrian Dunne and/or his brother were on antidepressants. I wonder if Sharon Grace who drowned herself and her 2 little daughters in 2005 was on antidepressants. I understand that the Virginia Tech killer was on antidepressants. While antidepressants help a lot of people, there are those for whom the reaction is far more serious than depression (suicides, violent behaviour, etc). I have had antidepressants offered casually to me to 1) help with hot flushes and 2) help me "not to worry" about my undiagnosed (thus discounted... and later diagnosed... ) hypothyroidism. The role of antidepressants in incidents like the the VT (and Columbine) killings and incidents similar to yesterday's tragedy in Wexford should be very carefully and thoroughly considered. Antidepressants should not be prescribed quickly. (Interesting aside: I don't think there are any records of people going to extremes as a side effect to St Johns Wort. And by that, I do not mean to imply that SJW is appropriate to treat severe depression. ) While we need to take depression very much more seriously in this country, we also need to be extremely careful in prescribing antidepressants. I hope we will learn if Mr Dunne (or Ms Grace) was on antidepressants... Just curious...

mike - 24/04/2007 13:50

Firstly, A family of humans no longer exists, whatever the reason? For now and for sometime to come those closest to them, parents, siblings, cousins aunts uncles will have so many questions that are going to need answers if that is possible?. Sometimes these answers are not the ones expected. Sometimes there are questions that have no answers in situations such as this.

1950 - 24/04/2007 17:54

Because these tragedies are exactly that: tragedies which wound deeply those left behind, I think whatEVER can be learned should be learned in order to find ways and methods to help prevent MORE of these horrible events. If your comment was in reply to my post, mike, I do not presume to have any answers or even the most relevant question. As a human who has losts parts of her family to suicide, I have been one of those "closest to them." I am interested in any aspect of these situations which might be addressed in better ways than they are being addressed at present. While everyone is focusing on blaming the Gardai and the HSE, I'm just wondering if antidepressants are also a part of the equation. There are no easy answers and no easy questions when it comes to breakdowns in relationships whether it be with other people or just with ourselves. Human beings are complicated. <-major understatement. I certainly did not mean to imply simplicity in my post. I just read an article today about the Va Tech killer being on antidepressants, and it made me wonder. I hope we will have the opportunity to know, not for idle curiosity, but to help us learn.

Maire(mairemor) - 26/04/2007 16:33

I believe this couple decided there was a better life in death with their two children - they must have believed in this in order to go through with killing their two young babies - shocking as it is, they must have wanted this more than living life any longer. They must have had a deep belief that there was an afterlife where they would be happy ever after. It scares me that this thinking might prompt more people to do this and I feel the media are making a meal out of it - almost promoting it which is a shame. The family left behind should get privacy and good care and attention without media intervention. It is very sad but that is suicide. My friend died this way but the only thing that allowed me to cope with it is that she wanted so badly to stop living as she lived - she was desperate to go and she finally succeeded. Maire

drew - 26/04/2007 18:33

Is it not time for a proper Tribunal to be set up once and for all to look deeply into the whole mental health system. The whole thing is just getting out of hand, and politicians from all parties are turning a blind eye to this new epidemic in Irish society. But it is not just Tds who want to wake up,it is the whole of Irish society who have to shot out loud and clearly that we need far better mental care now. I am devasted for the families because my own family fear that something may happen to me while i am numbed with anti-depressants

Vickie - 27/04/2007 08:33

I wish to pay my respects to both families. I am living in Wexford town myself and when Sharon Grace took her life along with her two beauitful girls there was promises that something would be done to prevent this from happening again. Unfortunately 2 years later, it happened again, I simply ask for a 24 hour line to be set up here in the South East with immediate effect, before this happens again.

Cathy - 27/04/2007 09:54

I don't consider suicide to be a sign of success - of anything. The fact that a person wants to die more than they want to live is a sign of a deely disturbed and ill (psychiatrically ill) person. I think with respect 1950, you are posing the question from slightly inaccurate angle. What I would ask is, were they on anti-depressants and if so, then this would indicate that they had seen a doctor. Why then did they doctor not recognise that their symptoms were far more serious than those requiring just antidepressants. If they had not seen a doctor, then why? Of course the questons remains, why was appropriate help not available between 5pm Friday and 9am Monday.

drew - 27/04/2007 13:41

Vickie, cathy, 1950. It it not time for us all to stand up and start shouting out loud. All the helplines in the world would never matter while our mental health services work 9 till 5 Monday to Friday. If only 10% of the monies that are going to be spent on the general election was put into mental services there could be a lot less deaths. everyone on this site must hammer all election canditdates no matter what party they belong to because none of them have any real policy on mental health

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