The whole country had learned through the heartfelt appeals by Robert’s parents, Mark and Majella, that their son feared the dark and, aware of that, a garda charged with preserving the scene asked Fr O’Donovan to pass on a message to the family if he thought it appropriate.
Fr O’Donovan recalled: “He said, ‘I was one of two gardaÃ who kept watch with Robert last night . . . I would like the parents to know that Robert wasn’t alone last night – I spoke to him all the time’; and then he concluded, ‘I just wish I had a blanket to wrap around him’.”