News

Child killer dad condemns wife to lasting grief

MOVING ON: Domestic violence survivor Ann O’Neill.
MOVING ON: Domestic violence survivor Ann O’Neill. Contributed

TWENTY-ONE years ago Ann O'Neill hugged her children for the last time.

Hours after kissing Kyle, 6, and Latisha, 4, goodnight, she was staring down the barrel of a shotgun wielded by her estranged husband, Norm O'Neill.

Dr O'Neill did everything she could to save her son and daughter, but they had no chance and she could not stop her attacker turning the gun on himself.

The Perth resident, along with Australian of the Year Rosie Batty and other violence survivors, Michael Costigan, Rebecca Poulson and Megan Dunstone, presented a united front during the Our Watch media awards launch at the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday.

"No one does anything to deserve abuse," Dr O'Neill said.

"You have the right to live free of fear and abuse.

"Abuse involves fear and using that fear to control another person and that's a key message we often miss in the media - fear is what keeps people there (at home).

"Fear is such a cruel tool, but there are services out there and there are people wanting to help."

Dr O'Neill will always grieve for her children, but she remarried a few years ago and now has a son.

She started Angelhands - a not-for-profit organisation providing support for victims of violence - and is also a motivational speaker and researcher.

"A problem is an opportunity and I've had the opportunity to study, I've had the opportunity to raise awareness," she said of the aftermath of losing Kyle and Latisha.

"Every day is a gift and I've used every one of my days as best as I can and I will continue to do so."

Topics:  child abuse, domestic violence, editors picks, family violence, murder




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Wallaroos reach top five after surprise win over Wests

OFFLOAD: Wallaroos’ Jack Horder releases the ball in front of the try line.

Wallaroos surprised Wests and moved into the BRL's top five.

Comedy videos setting teen up for a big future

Tinana teacher provided early inspiration.

Performer proud of her roots

Indigenous performer Dimity Shillingsworth is a role model for scores of Indigenous university and high school students on the Fraser Coast.

Dimity Shillingsworth is a role model to many Indigenous students.

Latest deals and offers

Barnaby Joyce talks Johnny Depp's dogs in Tweed

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce talks about Johnny Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo...

Billy Slater talks Origin Team

Queensland Origin great Billy Slater.

Queensland Origin great Billy Slater talks about this years team and his return to...

Road rage caught on Dashcam

Attack with a baseball bat caught on Dashcam

Video of a violent road rage incident in Orange last December.

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked