Yesterday afternoon, a jeweller’s shop was held up in the tiny Victorian town of Hastings.
The husband was fatally stabbed while trying to protect his wife from the bandit. She was taken to hospital for her injuries and has since been released.
These people were our friends.
Dermot and Bridget O’Toole were amongst that first group of people who, when Mum arrived in Victoria with two little girls in 1980, generously wove a much-needed support network around us.
Bridget ran the nursery at the tenpin bowling centre where Mum worked. Dermot made Mum’s Claddagh ring for her second wedding. I remember Dale and Trent (two of their three sons) only as little boys: it’s been a long time since I’ve seen them.
An email from Mum this morning bore this devastating news and my heart goes out to this wonderful family who made such a difference to us and who must now face the consequences of such a terrible and senseless tragedy. My thoughts are filled with memories of this lovely Irish man whose passing leaves such a gap in his community, his family and in the hearts of all of those who were blessed to know him.
So I dedicate this post to the memory of that lovable Irish rogue, Dermot O’Toole.
May he rest in peace.