Double suicide stuns village

By Anita Guidera-Belfast Telegraph

21 December 2004


The tiny border village of Emyvale was today struggling to make sense of the sudden deaths of two young local men.

Friends Darren Lavery and Jonathan McKenna had spent Sunday night socialising in Monaghan town and later back in their home village of Emyvale, five miles away.

Hours later their bodies were found in a shed which had been converted to a snooker room at Darren's home just north of the village.

Friends and neighbours said the men were friendly and polite. They had met when Jonathan moved to the area from Tyrone to live with relatives around ten years ago after his parents died in a car crash.

A friendship formed between the boys at Knockonan National School and continued through their teen years, despite the fact that they attended different secondary schools in Monaghan town.

Darren worked as an installer of PVC windows and was planning to go into business on his own.

His family runs a successful photography and video business, which was established by his father over 30 years ago. In his spare time he worked as a DJ at nightclubs and wedding parties in the Monaghan area.

"He was a bit of a showman when it came to his DJ work and he always had a big smile on his face," said Peadar McMahon, Darren's former teacher at St McCartin's Secondary School.

Jonathan, a past pupil of the Vocational School in Monaghan town, worked in the local Silverhill Foods plant in Emyvale.

Neighbours said he appeared to have coped well with the death of his parents.

Jonathan lived with his uncle's family. Darren lived with his mother, sister and three brothers.

It is not yet known how they died.