Camden New Journal - EXCLUSIVE by RICHARD OSLEY Published: 28 February 2008
‘It makes you feel numb’
PAUL Breen should be the happiest man in Downpatrick: he is due to get married in the summer.
Yet for all the excitement surrounding his and his fiancée Toni’s wedding plans he knows that, come the big day, he will look around for his father Tom and he won’t be there.
“It will be a special day – I won’t let the people who have ruined our family’s lives ruin this,” says Paul. “But my father should be alive to see this. When you get married you always think of your parents seeing you go through it.”
The tragedy has hit Paul hard. “I’ve had to have pills to help me at times,” he says. “It just makes you feel so angry and helpless. I can remember the time I was in the kitchen and I looked at the sleeping tablets and a glass of water and I thought to myself: Why don’t I overdose on them? Why don’t I just take them all?
“I felt so numb and powerless to do anything. But then I thought that’s not what my father would have wanted. He would have wanted me to be strong. I will get married and I am looking forward to it, I have to be happy for him.”
Not long after his father’s death, Paul, 31, went on a course, through his job, to learn life-saving techniques but was left reeling when he was unexpectedly shown graphic images of stab wounds. The course leader had no idea why Paul suddenly excused himself and left the room.
“She said I didn’t have to go back,” Paul says. “But I did go back: I went back for my father. I went back thinking if I could help anybody who was in my father’s position on that night in Camden, then I want to be able to do it. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. There was no reason for this to happen to our family.”