Heartbroken Lorraine Gallagher has said that only the strength of her two young boys has helped her survive the worst year of her life.
Lorraine was speaking to Donegal Daily on the eve of the anniversary of her daughter Erin’s death a year ago.
The Ballybofey mum’s world fell to pieces over the space of six horrific weeks last year when both her daughters, Erin, 13, and Shannon, 15 took their own lives.
Now Lorraine says she does not how she would have got through her ordeal but for the birth of her son Lennon and her other son Sean James, 6.
Fighting back tears, Lorraine said she has been forced to find an inner-strength she never thought she had to fight on. “There were times when I just thought I would never get through it without Erin and Shannon.
“They were my life and to lose them so suddenly will always leave a huge hole in my heart.
“But I knew that I had to stay strong for my son Sean James. “And when Lennon came along, it was as if I had been given even more reason to stay and help make as best a life as I could for the two boys.
“The girls doted on Sean James and they would have been exactly the same with Lennon.
“I know this is what they would have wanted.
“I used to have a house full of girls but now I have a house full of boys I have to look after,” she said.
Lorraine is trying to lead as normal a life as possible and even got engaged to partner Phelim Quinn.
However, Lorraine, 37, says there is not an hour goes past when something does not remind her of Shannon or Erin.
“It’s the little things in life that make you think of them. All the good times we had together and the fun.
“I might watch a television show that the girls liked or hear a song from a band that they liked and it will bring all the memories flooding back.
“We squeezed a lot of good times into the few short years we were all together,” said Lorraine
Lorraine, partner Phelim and her two sons will attend a special anniversary mass for Erin tomorrow (SUN).
In November they repeat the occasion again when they recall the life of Shannon, 15.
Shannon took her life saying she could just not carry on without her little sister and best friend Erin.
Erin was found dead by Lorraine in their Ballybofey home on October 27th claims that she was being bullied online.
Both girls had been students at Finn Valley College.
Their deaths sparked a huge investigation into online bullying including the ask-fm site on which Lorraine claimed her youngest daughter was being cyber-bullied on.
“Like all girls they would have wanted their own day.
“We will recall Erin’s life on Sunday and remember all the good times we had with her and of course Shannon but it will be Erin’s day.
“I have bought flowers and we will visit her grave.
“We will do the same again in November when it will be Shannon’s day,” said Lorraine.
Lorraine admits that she still strives for questions and is still angry at the passing of her two daughters.
“I have a very good solicitor in Patsy Gallagher and I am happy to allow the legal path to take its course.
“I can’t say too much because it is an ongoing legal situation but I am still very angry at a lot of people in authority,” she said.
As the first anniversary of her youngest daughter arrives, Lorraine knows exactly where the beloved sisters would have spent today if they were alive.
“They would have been in the Finn Valley Centre watching Jason Quigley fight for gold for Ireland. I have no doubt about it.
“Both of them boxed and Katie Taylor was their hero. They would have been in the middle of it all having fun like all the other teenagers.
“Their friends will be there and I hope they enjoy themselves and appreciate how lucky they all are.
“I meet Shannon and Erin’s friends all the time and they are so good to me.
“They know the real people Shannon and Erin were and how much they were loved by the people that matter.
“And that’s all that matters to me,” she said.