The father of Thelma and Michael ‘Mikie’ Dennany has paid tribute to them in an emotional victim impact statement.
Five-year-old Thelma Dennany and her two-year-old brother Michael Dennany were murdered by their mother, Lynn Eagar, last year.
Eager set fire to the car they were travelling in and suffered only minor injuries herself.
Following her guilty plea, Mr Justice Paul McDermott imposed a life sentence for both murders.
Afterwards, Thelma and Michael’s father, also Michael Dennany, told the court the first time he had held his baby daughter he was the “happiest man alive”.
“Being responsible for someone so small and precious gave my life the focus and direction it had been missing,” he said.
“I promised to do my best to give her anything and everything she wanted.”
Mr Dennany was working on the day his children were murdered and said their deaths had “ripped the guts out of me”.
“Daddy should have been there to protect them,” he said.
“When they needed me the most, I was useless.
“I am nothing now but an empty shell. There's no purpose to life. I don’t belong anywhere. I am an outsider looking in.
“People tell me to ask for help and I have tried but the reality is there isn't appropriate help out there for these situations. Not even the professionals know what to say or do.”
Mr Dennany also said the deaths of his children had had a devastating impact on his entire family and destroyed his hopes and dreams for the future.
“At my age l'd hoped I'd live long enough to see them through school and, at a push, maybe see them married,” he said.
“But I never, in my wildest dreams, thought I'd bury them.
“Bury them is all I could do. I never held them one last time. Never got to say goodbye. The only comfort I have is that they're together forever.”
Mr Dennany concluded that had Thelma and Michael lived, they might not have changed the world but they “definitely would have made it a better place.”
Main image: Thelma and Michael ‘Mikie’ Dennany. Picture by: Supplied.