A devastated mother whose children were murdered by their father has revealed she’s moving out of the home she raised them in.
Kathleen Chada, 50, lost her two boys Eoghan, 10, and Ruairi, five, when they were brutally murdered by their father Sanjeev on July 29, 2013.
Depraved coward Sanjeev, who is serving life in prison, drove the two boys from their Carlow home to Co Mayo before he strangled them to death in the back of his car, and then tried, and failed, to kill himself by crashing the vehicle.
And now, over eight years on from the tragedy, Kathleen has revealed that she’s selling the Co Carlow home she and Sanjeev raised them in — as she starts “a new chapter” in her life.
“I’ve been thinking about selling for the last two years and moving. It’s something that crept up over time and as much as I’ve needed and thrived off the support from the community, it will actually be quite nice to be a little bit anonymous for a little while,” Kathleen told us.
“It’s a new chapter, but it’s a chapter that I bring Eoghan and Ruairi with me on.”
Kathleen was speaking to podcast series Shattered Lives – produced by our sister title The Irish Star – which launches a second series with a feature-length episode today.
Our podcast, which features interviews with victims of crime and also explores unsolved cases, is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google — with Kathleen being our first guest in this second series.
Listen to the Kathleen Chada episode below:
The lengthy interview features many harrowing and emotional moments, with Kathleen revealing for the first time her decision to leave behind the Ballinkillen home her little boys grew up in.
“It will be emotional. [But] what generally happens though with any big things in my life, I’ve already been thinking about it for a long time.
“So by the time anybody else knows about it or in this instance the for sale sign went up, I’ve processed an awful lot of that. I know it’s the right thing for me to do now.
“I’ve always said this isn’t about leaving them behind, this is about bringing Eoghan and Ruairi with me and moving forward in my life,” she said.
During the heartbreaking interview, Kathleen also spoke in detail about bringing the bodies of her sons home and placing them in their beds as she said her final goodbyes.
“I said in my victim impact statement that he [Sanjeev] robbed me of my last hours and moments with Eoghan and Ruairi. He had that in spite of the fact that he was the one inflicting that on them.
“He could hold them while they were still warm. So by the time they came back to me, you know, obviously they were cold.
“They were cold, and it didn’t matter what I covered them with, I wasn’t going to be able to warm them.”
Also in our interview, Kathleen spoke openly about the horror her boys suffered in their final hours — revealing her belief that tragic Eoghan must have fought back against his father, and young Ruairi probably witnessed it all.
“I have to assume that [they knew what was happening]. He [Sanjeev] would say no, and in his statements he said no.
“But the injuries he inflicted on Eoghan were quite catastrophic, and the obvious one to me was, when we had them at home for the two nights before they were buried…they were sharing a bed and I couldn’t put them on their own side of where they slept normally because we had to disguise the huge area on Eoghan’s head where he’d had a lump of hair pulled out.
“Now my understanding is that everything happened in the car. Again I’m thinking of the fight that Eoghan would have put up.
“So there was a bald patch on his head. You can’t do that easily unless there’s resistance — and the anger to inflict something like that on somebody you supposedly love.”
Kathleen added that she is speaking in graphic detail in this podcast about everything that happened to her children — as she wants people to know just how evil the acts inflicted upon them were.
“Eoghan’s skull, for want of a better way of putting it, was almost like a jigsaw that was put back together by the undertaker.
“This is really graphic and I’m sorry for the listeners hearing it, but this is real,” she said.
“He had damage to his shoulder, to his collarbone, to his hip, all fractured.
“So you try to imagine how those injuries get inflicted in a car. Sanj would say that Ruairi slept through that.
“There’s no way. With the injuries that Eoghan had there’s no way. He was ultimately killed by strangulation and that was the fight Eoghan put up.
“I believe he was fighting for his own life and he was fighting for his little brother.
“I can only hope and pray that the head injuries that were inflicted on him had an effect and he didn’t know what was going on,” she said.
Kathleen also says she believes her husband was totally sane when he murdered the two boys — and his attempts to take his own life were pathetic, and probably not genuine.
“My understanding is he tried to hang himself from a tree and the branch broke. But I would have said very pathetic attempts.
“The reality is, if you really want to kill yourself, you kill yourself. He had lots of time. So if the boys were killed around the four-five o clock mark, he didn’t crash that car until about half two in the afternoon.
“He was driving around apparently. He stopped to get petrol. He got a coffee.
“We think, or I think what happened was he heard the CRI [Child Rescue Ireland] alert and panicked and crashed the car at that stage.
“I can only be forever grateful for the fact that there was nobody else killed, because anybody could have been walking, cycling, driving. It was a fairly busy road and there could have been another family shattered.”
In the podcast, Kathleen speaks in detail about the trial, her husband’s admissions and his sick “love” letters to her — and how she will never speak to him again.
The podcast also reveals her real fears that Sanjeev will one day be released from prison and that he could come after her.
- The full-length interview can be heard from today on platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts, and more episodes will be released weekly.