Shane O’Connor (17) was found dead in Bray just two days after being reported missing from Newbridge, Co. Kildare and had last been seen in Tallaght. He had reportedly been on “suicide watch” at Tallaght University Hospital.
On Saturday, Sinead confirmed that Shane “decided to end his earthly struggle today and is now with God.” She later said that she had formally identified her son’s remains.
Taking to Twitter on Sunday, the grieving mother shared a message for other teenagers struggling with mental health issues and warned that suicide would not bring them any peace.
“A message for teens considering the dumbass option my son felt forced into choosing, I have seen many deceased folks in my life. My son is the only one who did not look at peace. Suicide will not bring you peace. It is a lie,” she wrote.
“Therefore the next poor well-meaning sod who says to me about my son 'at least he is at peace now' is going to get their lights punched out. How does anyone knows he’s at peace? I can tell you his face was as tormented as it’s been for months. No difference at all.”
Ms O’Connor said that Tusla Child and Family Agency had made a “big mistake” by failing her child.
She continued: “FYI please don’t imagine I am less than keenly aware I failed my child, alongside Tusla and the HSE and the Irish State. And alongside others in his life who shall forever remain publicly nameless. We all know who we are. We all failed him. Welcome to Ireland.
“My child has now been dead on Tusla’s watch for over 48 hours and the only contact I have had from anyone representing Tusla was yesterday from their media office, concerned for themselves over the negative publicity.
“Message to Tusla, a storm is coming that you haven’t rehearsed for. Kids are dying in your care every day. Now my kid is one of them. Big mistake.”
Tusla have not yet issued a statement regarding Shane's death.
The HSE has said it “cannot comment on individual cases when to do so might reveal information in relation to identifiable individuals, breaching the ethical requirement on us to observe our duty of confidentiality.”
If you have been affected by the issues raised in this article, contact the Samaritans on 116 123; Pieta House on 1800 247 247 or text HELLO to 50808, a free 24/7 text support service for people going through a mental health or emotional crisis.