Clarkes 'never set out to deceive' over son's death
on 14/01/2013 00:00:00
"I don't know if they're ever going to get over it. And Sallyanne again has insisted that she never intentionally set out to deceive anyone, either friends or people in the media."
Pupils at the exclusive Clongowes Wood College were only told on Saturday that Andrew had taken his own life at the family home on Dec 27.
Teachers at the school felt that they might not be able to handle the grim truth so soon, as well as the outpouring of emotions.
Some of their parents live abroad and they too had to be informed of what had happened to one of the pupils.
Sallyanne had found motor racing enthusiast Andrew, 16, lying "cold" and "unconscious" on the floor of their garage.
But when medics discovered a heartbeat and he was in a coma in hospital, Sallyanne decided not to mention that it was a suicide attempt, hoping that he was going to pull through and didn't want him "stigmatised" by it.
But he died on New Year's Eve in the ICU centre in Tallaght Hospital.
Medics told the family that he was brain dead, and they decided to donate his vital organs for transplant as they believed that is what their son would have wanted.
Both Sallyanne and Derry had already told their two children that in the event of their own deaths they wanted their vital organs harvested for transplants, never expecting that one of their children would die before them.
An initial story that Andrew had been found crushed underneath a car he had been working on was subsequently dismissed.
He had bought a Volkswagen Jetta to restore, but when Sallyanne found him he was lying beside it on the ground, as she revealed in a statement.
The schoolboy's mother insisted that she had never claimed that he was crushed underneath a car, but that this had come from other source.
A medical source yesterday said the ambulance crew and medical teams who treated Andrew were "deeply uncomfortable" that his death had initially been blamed on a car crushing him, when he had actually taken his own life.
In a heart-rending speech during his funeral, Sallyanne described her only son as "a cheeky chappy, a loveable rogue. But there wasn't an ounce of malice in him. He was also a very witty boy with a heart of gold. He loved everyone and everyone loved him back".
Derry, Sallyanne and daughter Sarah May now hope to be left alone to grieve in peace. It is believed they have turned down an offer to appear on The Late Late Show to discuss the tragedy.