The heartbroken mother of three children found stabbed to death in their home in Ireland lovingly clutched a framed photo as she attended a vigil last night.
Margaret ‘Twink’ Cash McDonagh, 40, attended the memorial prayer service for her eight-year-old twins Christy and Chelsea Cawley, and their older sister Lisa Cash, 18.
Their brother Andy Cash, 24, has been charged with killing the trio in a horrific knife frenzy in the early hours of Sunday morning at their home in Rossfield Avenue, Tallaght.
Other family members, friends and neighbours attended the vigil held at a local church last night.
Ms McDonagh wept as she held on to the photo and the family made a heartbreaking plea for everyone to remember the ‘forever young’ children.
Margaret ‘Twink’ Cash McDonagh (wearing black) leans on the shoulder of a mourner during a vigil for her three children yesterday
Eight-year-old twins Christy and Chelsea Cawley were stabbed to death in their home in Ireland on Sunday morning
Lisa Cash, 18, who along with her two younger siblings died in a violent incident at a house in Tallaght, Dublin
Wearing black, she was helped in to the service by two family members and sat in the front row alongside other relatives, The Sun reported.
Father Bill O’Shaughnessy told the mourners: ‘Tonight is just about a simple and gentle bit of prayer to remember three beautiful young people, Chelsea, Christy and Lisa, and to pray for each other in heavy and dark times that have hit this community and really just to be there for each other.’
The siblings will be laid to rest together at a joint funeral on Friday at St Aidan’s Church in Brookfield.
An online notice read: ‘Tragically, at home; beloved and cherished son and daughters of Margaret and the late Andy Cash and Billy Cawley and much loved brother and sisters of Margaret and Mikey.
‘Lisa, Chelsea and Christy will be forever loved and very sadly missed by their heartbroken family, grandparents Martin McDonagh, Martin and Mag, aunts, uncles, cousins, brother-in-law Michael, nephew Baby David, extended family and all their many friends.’
Nan Cawley, a relative of the children, wrote a moving poem dedicated to ‘Tallaght’s Angels’.
One line reads: ‘Three young lives cut short, With so much left to give, Let’s not think of how they died, Just how they lived.’
Appearing in court Monday evening, Cash replied ‘no comment’ when charged with the murders of his three siblings.
Judge McNamara denied a request from his solicitor that he should be kept in solitary confinement.
Andy Cash (pictured), 24, has been charged with killing his sister, 18, and eight-year-old twin siblings in Dublin, as neighbours honoured the tragic victims on Monday
Twins Chelsea and Christy Cawley, aged eight, and their older sister Lisa Cash, 18, were killed at their home in Rossfield Avenue, Tallaght. Pictured: Locals release balloons at a vigil for the three siblings, who died on Sunday morning
At about 9.20pm on Monday, Cash appeared before a special sitting of Dublin District Court, charged with three courts of murder.
Cash of Tallaght, south Dublin, stood when requested by Judge McNamara so she could formally identify him at the special sitting.
McNamara remanded Nash in custody. He will appear before Cloverhill district court at 10am on Friday via video link.
Cash allegedly stabbed Lisa when she tried to protect the twins, while their 14-year-old brother managed to escape through a window and call for help, the Irish Sun reported.
Lisa’s body was found at the bottom of the stairs with apparent stab wounds.
Lisa Cash, 18, and her two younger siblings, eight-year-old twins Christy and Chelsea Cawley
It is believed that older sister Lisa was babysitting at the time they lost their lives.
Now, three local schools are united in grief, and are together trying to find a way to explain the deaths of three young people to classmates and friends and minds too young to grasp what happened in that home.
Balloons were released into the air in their memory, while schoolchildren and friends broke down in tears as their parents struggled to find the words to comfort them.
The victims’ 14-year-old brother was taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries, and their mother, a woman in her 40s, was released from hospital on Sunday and is being supported by her family.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has expressed his ‘deepest sympathies’ to their family, and said that the ‘terrible tragedy’ had ‘left the nation shocked and very saddened’, while Garda Commissioner Drew Harris described the deaths as ‘dreadful and traumatic’.
Flowers and candles left after a vigil outside a house on Rossfield Avenue in Tallaght, Dublin, where Lisa Cash, 18, and her eight-year-old twin siblings Christy and Chelsea Cawley died in a violent incident
Schoolmates are pictured attending vigil of Lisa Cash, 18, and her eight-year-old twin siblings Christy and Chelsea Cawley
Mourners gathered in droves to leave candles, messages and flowers along the wall outside the home where the trio were murdered
A pair of mourners share a tragic embrace at the vigil of Lisa Cash and her eight-year-old twin siblings Chelsea and Christy Crawley
Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said: ‘What we’re all reading in the newspapers and hearing on television and on radio programmes is just beyond a horrifically tragic and devastating scenario.’
‘Three young beautiful lives to be extinguished overnight… We think particularly of that community, but I think it’s something that has shocked the entire country.
‘Our hearts and thoughts and our prayers go to the family, to their poor mum and the 14-year-old boy, to all their neighbours, all their friends, to the schoolchildren going back to school today, where there’ll be two empty desks where beautiful twins only returned to school in recent days.
‘I think the whole nation holds all of them in our thoughts.’
Neighbours said they will never forget what they saw and heard in the early hours of Sunday.
One neighbour, who did not want to give his name, said he was watching TV when he was alerted to scenes outside.
‘I went outside and could see gardaí with their weapons out. We couldn’t make sense of what was happening. It was very traumatic to see it all happen.
‘They were a lovely, beautiful family. Our granddaughter sometimes played with the kids out on the street.
‘None of us slept that night. People will not get over this. The community is rocked badly, mentally and physically. The guards did really well that night. They should be given medals. And the paramedics fought and fought so hard to save them. Lisa was a beautiful young girl and she tried her best to save those kids.’
Outside the house are pictures of the three, showing Christy and Chelsea making their first Holy Communion, among the long row of floral tributes.
Pictured: Dozens of mourners turned up at the vigil to pay their respects to the tragic victims who died in a violent incident on Sunday
Another neighbour earlier told the Irish Daily Mail her daughter had only been playing with Christy and Chelsea two days previously.
‘It was the first day that I let her out to play around the corner – just down the road from their house.’
Her young daughter continued the story: ‘We played hide and seek down there. We had a good time. I can’t believe it – that they are not here now.’
Another neighbour, who also asked not to be named, told the Mail: ‘Their brother who was in the house went to get help. He is their hero. There are no words to describe what we saw and what happened.
‘The whole community will need counselling now.’
Another neighbour, who also asked not to be named, told the Irish Daily Mail said: ‘There are no words to describe what we saw and what happened. The whole community will need counselling now.’
People attend a vigil outside a house on Rossfield Avenue in Tallaght, Dublin, where Lisa Cash, 18, and her eight-year-old twin siblings Christy and Chelsea Cawley died in a violent incident
The principal of St Aidan’s school, Kevin Shortall, paid tribute to Lisa, saying she was ‘a quiet, beautiful young girl, very diligent, hard-working, got on with her work, was a great support to her friends in times of trouble.
‘She is remembered as one of the most honest, genuine young people, full of integrity and no fuss, no drama around her.
‘I believe she was babysitting at the time, and that would have been something that she was just so good at.
‘She was the kind of person you could trust. That’s the person Lisa was.
‘We are all just meeting each other and shaking our heads and giving each other hugs and things like that. It’s a very difficult morning.’
Mr Shortall said he had liaised with the principal of the primary school that Christy and Chelsea had attended on how to respond to the ‘unprecedented’ tragedy.
On Sunday, the Brookfield Community Centre opened to allow people to gather and help them deal with the tragic news.
‘It doesn’t feel like real life,’ said Fianna Fáil councillor Teresa Costello.
‘We’ve lost three young, vibrant, beautiful lives out of our community, in the most unimaginable terms, and it’s going to be a really difficult road ahead.
‘People are numb. I think it’s not sinking in, but it’s there and it’s so raw for people and it’s something you never imagine is going to be on your doorstep.
‘The scale of what’s emerging in terms of the detail, you never imagine that’s something to happen, particularly to children, and the wider community here are well aware of what happened because they saw it.
‘They saw it from their own houses, from their gardens, from the road.
‘It’s important to remember the names Lisa, Chelsea and Christy. They’re the three most important people right now.