‘We just want our boys home’

THE parents of two young Inishowen men accused of murder in Australia have spoken of their torment and pain, claiming their sons are innocent of all charges.

James and Anne McLaughlin, and Nellie and Gerard Kelly

Christopher McLaughlin (24) and Nathan Kelly (21) were initially charged with assault following an incident in Sydney on December 29 but the charges were upgraded to murder after Paul Tavelardis (66) died last Sunday.

The duo are currently being held in separate prisons in New South Wales and face life sentences if found guilty, but their families insist they are not killers and were defending themselves and their property during the incident that led to their arrest.

The Kellys and McLaughlins claim that their sons came under attack by a man wielding a metal pipe after disturbing him interfering with their jeep.

“Our boys’ faces are being shown worldwide for murder but we know they didn’t do it. They have never been in trouble before and they are not the type of people who would ever do anything like this.

“We feel sorry for the man who has died but there’s more to this. They didn’t set out to harm anyone and we just want them home.

James McLaughlin is “hoping and praying” that his son Christopher and Nathan will get justice “as soon as possible”.
“We’re totally convinced they are not guilty and we are anxious that they should get bail and be given a chance to clear their names. We want them home and freed as soon as possible.”

Anne McLaughlin says life has been “hell” since she learned of her son’s arrest, while Gerard Kelly said he spoke to Nathan on Sunday and told him to keep his head up.

See this week’s edition of the Inishowen Independent for the full interview.

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Damian Dowds

Damian studied at NUI Maynooth and worked with Intel Ireland on graduation. Followings stints as a civil servant in Leinster House, and with magazine publisher Ashville Media, he returned to Inishowen to set up the Inishowen Independent in 2007.