A Tragedy Waiting to Happen: The Chaotic Life of Brendan O'Donnell

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9780717137848: A Tragedy Waiting to Happen: The Chaotic Life of Brendan O'Donnell

Tony Muggivan is a farmer. One wet night in February 1989, Brendan O'Donnell turned up at Tony's door, dirty, disheveled, and starving. He had fled from Trinity Detention Centre in Dublin and had been missing for a week. The Muggivans took him in. The next day, Tony Muggivan got a week's grace for O'Donnell and began a search for help. It was clear that he should be in a psychiatric unit, not a detention centre. Doctors, social workers and the Gardai all agreed that this was the best course of action. Unable to find a place that would admit Brendan, they returned home. Over the next five years Brendan began living rough and embarked on a campaign of armed robbery and mayhem in the east Clare area. It was evident he was out of control. In 1994 O'Donnell murdered Imelda Riney, her three-year old son Liam and Fr. Joe Walsh. It was one of the most shocking crimes of modern times. O'Donnell was convicted in 1996 and died in prison in 1997 in circumstances that have never been fully explained by the authorities. Tony and J.J. Muggivan recount Brendan O'Donnell's tragic life, and highlight the failures of the system to help a deeply disturbed boy who later became a psychotic killer. Tony Muggivan had known that something awful was going to happen: for five years, he had tried and failed to get the Irish social and medical system to offer appropriate treatment to a desperately sick young man.

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About the Author:

Tony Muggivan is a farmer in Co. Clare. His brother and co-author J.J. is a clinical social worker in New Orleans.

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J.J. Mugivan, Tony Muggivan
Published by Gill & MacMillan, Limited (2004)
ISBN 10: 0717137848 ISBN 13: 9780717137848
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Mugivan, J.J.; Muggivan, Tony
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ISBN 10: 0717137848 ISBN 13: 9780717137848
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