The heartbroken father of Enda McLaughlin has revealed how he always thought his son would die in tragic circumstances.
Devastated Patrick McLaughlin choked back tears as he revealed how he will never be able to cope with the loss of his youngest child.
Enda, 27, from Carndonagh in Co Donegal, died after being struck by a car in Germany.
It followed reports of a frenzied attack in which Enda allegedly stabbed three people.
Patrick revealed how he always had a “gut feeling” that his son would die before him.
“If I am to be honest I’ll say that deep down that I always thought Enda would die like this.
“I just never thought he would die in a foreign country where I cannot see him and I cannot hold him. That’s the worst part of all this.
“If this had happened in Cork then I could have went down straight away and been with him.
“I know what everyone is saying but I just need my son home. At the end of the day he is my son, my youngest child and he will always be that to me,” he said.
Speaking at his small cottage two miles outside Carndonagh in the townland of Glentogher, the heartbroken father of five revealed how he only spoke to his son a week ago when he telephoned him from Holland.
“I honestly thought he had left Ireland behind and that he was going to make something of his life.
“Of course he had plenty of troubles here but when he went abroad, I thought he was going to settle down.
“He called me about a week ago and we talked about this and that including the World Cup and who he thought was going to win it. He was in good form.
“He had phoned me at the start of May, the day after he arrived in Holland and said he was okay and that he was settling down,” revealed Patrick.
Patrick said his son was never really given a fair go at an ordinary life after his mother Elizabeth walked out on him and the family from an early age.
“He was never close to his mother because she left us early on.
“I tried the best I could to put clothes on his back and food on the table but it was difficult.
“But he was always up against it. From his early teens he began to get in trouble.
“But the system let him down. He had mental health problems like his mother and he needed help but he didn’t get it.
“We are just ordinary people and Enda fell in with the wrong company,” he said.
Patrick said his son was very talented and was a fine singer.
“He always wanted to be a singer. He was a great singer and blessed with a great voice. I could have listened to him all night.
“Raglan Road was his favourite song and he did a terrific version of it. What I would give to hear him sing it again,” he said.
Patrick said that Enda’s older siblings Daniel, Jonathan, Ellen and Catherine Bernadette are struggling to cope with their brother’s passing and the manner in which he died.
“The first I heard of what happened was when the Guards called to the house.
“We were just told that Enda had been killed a traffic accident but now all this stuff about knifings has come out. It is very hard for a father to hear.
“I spoke to the Gardai and they told me there was no evidence that Enda was involved in any of these things.
“My other children are devastated too but they also felt that something might one day happen to Enda. It’s just so hard to take all this in,” he added.
Patrick said that all he wanted now was to see his son brought home and buried in Carndonagh where he could visit him.
“At this stage I’m not sure how we will get Enda home. I just need to get him home.
“I need to be able to see him and to hold him and to place him in a coffin and to be able to visit his grave.
“I suppose that’s what any father wants if they are unfortunate enough to lose a child,” added Patrick.
Enda’s sister Catherine said the family felt let down by the system.
“Enda needed psychiatric care, not prison. Every time he came out of prison he was worse than before,” she said.
“He never grew up. He was like a child. Enda was diagnosed with bipolar disorder; he had mental issues and that was never properly addressed. He was sick.”
Local TD Charlie McConalogue has been trying to help the family liaise with the Department of Foreign AffairsTags: