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Call for help Mum of murdered Alicia Brough calls for helpline for people with 'homicidal' thoughts

'There's no shame in having thoughts of harming people, but there is shame in murdering somebody'

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Maria Dempsey's daughter Alicia Brough was just 20-years-old when she lost her life trying to save her friend Sarah Hines in 2010

Maria Dempsey's daughter Alicia Brough was just 20-years-old when she lost her life trying to save her friend Sarah Hines in 2010

Maria Dempsey's daughter Alicia Brough was just 20-years-old when she lost her life trying to save her friend Sarah Hines in 2010

A woman whose daughter who was stabbed to death in a domestic violence incident in Limerick has said a helpline should be established for people who are having "intrusive or homicidal" thoughts. 

Maria Dempsey's daughter Alicia Brough, who was just 20-years-old, lost her life trying to save her friend Sarah Hines in 2010.

She died trying to help Sarah who was murdered by John Geary along with his five-month-old daughter Amy and her three-year-old brother Reece.

Her mother Maria said that if there was somewhere for people to talk openly about homicidal thoughts, it might make a difference and prevent them from acting.

"I have this thought that let's start talking about homicidal and murderous thoughts, thoughts of harm," she told Radio Kerry. “They're normal.

"If you've been bullied at school, you'd have thought about wanting to take revenge on the person that hurt you know.

"Those are all very normal, it becomes abnormal when it becomes intrusive and when it becomes a plan, and then when they feel that they can't go back."

She added that people need to be able to talk openly without feeling guilt "because there's no shame in having thoughts of harming people, but there is shame in murdering somebody.

"I really think that maybe we should have a helpline where people can independently ring, and say, 'help me, I'm having intrusive thoughts. I need to get rid of these horrible thoughts that I am having' without feeling shame."

Ms Dempsey was speaking as the latest familial tragedy unfolded in Lixnaw, Co Kerry, where Eileen O’Sullivan and son Jamie were allegedly shot dead by partner and father Mossie O’Sullivan, who then took his own life.

"Nothing can save those who have gone by now, but their lives can save other lives,” Ms Dempsey said. “They are relevant to saving others."

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Ms Dempsey said a review was taking place where relevant authorities conduct domestic homicide reviews of cases and talk to people who may have been in contact with the victims and the perpetrators to see if there was a way that these tragedies could be prevented in the future.

According to Ms Dempsey, although it was introduced by the Justice Minister in May 2019,it has not yet been decided on more than two years later.

"If we take Portugal, England, Wales, Norway, some counties in America, after a domestic homicide, they do a domestic homicide review," she said.

"These are really interesting, because ... they talked to family, they talked to friends they talk to any services that victims and perpetrators, may have been in contact with.

"You heard about the superintendent's asking for people to be in contact with even insignificant thoughts that people have had since.

"When we take all these insignificant little thoughts, and we put them together, we get a much bigger picture of what was going on."

In her own daughter’s case, Ms Dempsey pointed out that John Geary had told a number of people in a pub that he was going to kill Sarah Hines who had recently ended their relationship.

"How many families now are trying to put together, trying to find answers to what happened," she said. "Could, could anything have saved them?"

"Nothing can save those who have gone by now, but their lives can save other lives. They are relevant to saving others."

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