Lynsey's Law: Costa Coffin Cruise Ships and Obama
By Paul O'brien
Crime Editor for the Sydney Morning Herald
October 12, 2012
Paperback - 266 pages
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
$23.99 - Buy it at Amazon
Lynsey O'Brien, 15, a student at Loreto high School, Beaufort, in Dublin, was from Terenure, Ireland. She was on a Costa Cruises' (Carnival Cruise Lines) Costa Magica cruise with her parents, brother and sisters on January 5, 2006, when she got drunk and went overboard from her cruise ship cabin balcony. This case is indeed a tragedy, but Lynsey is not the "murder" victim, as her father calls her in the book.
She is a victim indeed, if you believe the story Paul O'brien alleges in the 266 pages of this book, that are more about him than they are about Lynsey and the cruise industry. While this case of tragedy seemed to go on forever, with a legal action spanning three years, it may have only just begun when O'brien's wife Sandra reads the book.
Sandra O'Brien told an Irish newspaper back in 2009 that reports of the family getting a million dollar settlement were very upsetting and hurtful. If she thought that was hurtful, this is going to hit her like a bomb.
In the book, Paul O'Brien paints his wife as such a evil, alcoholic, abusive villain, two of her children tried kill themselves and her husband bought a gun to kill himself. The suicide attempts by the children, one of them Lynsey, were attempted before the cruise.
From the excerpts within this poorly written, rough draft journal, labeled a 'book', the story unfolds painting Lynsey as a victim, not of murder but of gross parental abuse by her mother and an epic parenting fail by Lynsey's father who couldn't move himself to protect his children. He instead, admits to hiding in an apartment he kept on the side, leaving his children to suffer abuse he would have received or hiding under the bed in the home he shared with his wife. O'brien paints himself as a victim of his wife's abuse, along with his children.
Why, with a history of domestic psychological abuse, alcoholism and child suicide attempts, anyone would book a cruise, isn't explained. The train was on the tracks, out of control, destined to crash, long before the cruise was booked. That crash was going to take place somewhere, it just happened to be on a cruise ship.
Nowhere in the book did I find any statement that would convince the reader O'brien tried to involve children's services, relentlessly if need be, in order to protect his children from the woman he claims abused them, even after the suicide attempts, which were evidence something was amiss in the O'brien household.
Then, there was my personal issue with the book. From Section 251 to section 303 of the Kindle edition, nearly all of the content was taken from several websites I own, without a credit back to me. While that is acceptable for private people, personal blogging news and/or opinions, it's not acceptable for authors of published books, especially those sold on Amazon for $23.99.
In the end, O'brien states he wants to see passage of a law named after his daughter's "murder" at the hands of the cruise industry, Lynsey's Law. Yes, Lynsey was a victim of a violent crime, but not by the cruise industry, the American Congress or President Obama and certainly not "murder".
From reading the 'book', if you believe the content, you see Lynsey was the victim of one abusive alcoholic parent who "psychologically tormented" her and another who allowed it to continue, all the while with mental illness surrounding it. That is the crime.
In 2013, Paul O'Brien took his own life.