A post-mortem is said to be carried out on the bodies of a father and his two sons today after Gardaí committed suicide in Cork on Monday.
It is hoped that the postmortems will help determine what exactly happened to the family on their farm near Castlemagner outside of Kanturk in North Cork yesterday. All three were gunshot wounds.
Gardaí described the incident in which Tadhg O’Sullivan (59) and two sons Mark (26) and Diarmuid (23) died as a terrible tragedy. Relatives comforted Mr O’Sullivan’s widow, Anne, 60, who recently left the hospital after an operation last night.
The three men’s bodies were rushed to Cork University Hospital Monday evening after Assistant State Pathologist Dr. Margaret Bolster had attended the scene.
Gardaí will use the results of Dr. Wait for Bolster’s post mortem at Cork University Hospital to see how many times Mark O’Sullivan has been shot. Early indications were that Tadhg and Diarmuid O’Sullivan had sustained individual gunshot wounds.
A technical examination of the house and the adjacent property is in progress.
Gardaí is open to the aftermath of the tragedy, but wonders whether the shootings might be linked to a dispute over a will in which Diarmuid missed part of the family farm in Castlemagner near Kanturk.
Tadhg O’Sullivan was originally from Roskeen, between Mallow and Kanturk, and married on the farm, but never managed or worked the 150 hectare cultivation facility. He worked as a mechanic at Greenhall Motors in Buttevant, about 15 km away.
Ms. O’Sullivan, 60, a nurse at Mount Alverna in Mallow, was hospitalized in Dublin last week because of a serious illness and was accompanied to Dublin by her older son Mark. It is assumed that after returning to Castlemagner, they stayed with neighbors for the last few days.
They moved back to the family home on Sunday evening, however, and events took a tragic turn on Monday morning when Tadhg and Diarmuid stormed into Mark’s bedroom sometime after 6:30 a.m. and one or both shot him.
“Critical firearms incident”
Gardaí was made aware of a “critical firearms incident” at around 6:30 am on Monday after Ms. O’Sullivan raised the alarm that firearms might have been fired at her home.
They were informed that there were three men in the house and that one may have suffered from gunshot wounds.
Lake Garda began responding to critical firearms incidents and negotiators attempted to contact someone on the property that morning.
Officials from the Emergency Department, the Armed Support Unit, the National Negotiation Unit, the Technical Support Unit (Garda Headquarters), the Southern Region Canine Unit and the Air Support Unit were involved.
A little after 1 p.m., Gardaí approached the house and found Mark’s body in a bedroom.
The bodies of Tadhg and Diarmuid O’Sullivan were later found on adjacent land after a flight search. Several firearms were found at the scene.
Gardaí said on Monday that they are not looking for anyone in connection with the incident.
Family ‘very popular’
The tragedy shocked and saddened the North Cork community. Diarmuid graduated from the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) in June and should receive a top-tier accounting degree next week, the institute confirmed.
Dr. Dan Collins, director of student affairs at CIT, said the CIT community was shocked when the news of the tragic deaths unfolded.
Dr. Collins said staff at the CIT where Diarmuid O’Sullivan took the four-year course described him as “a young man of promise who worked hard, respected and was valued by staff and students alike.”
“This tragedy is heartbreaking and we express our thoughts and condolences to his mother Anne. We also keep our thoughts and prayers, his brother Mark and his father Tadhg.
“We are aware of his friends, classmates and employees in the accounting and information systems department as well as the extended family and neighbors at this time,” said Dr. Collins in a statement from the CIT.
Paul Gallagher – assistant public relations officer for the Castlemagner GAA club where the brothers played when they were young – expressed his deepest condolences to Ms. O’Sullivan and her extended family on behalf of the club.
Mr. Gallagher said it was a “close” community and the family was “very popular”.
“We are usually used to hearing or watching these stories on TV instead of seeing them outside your window,” he said of RTÉ’s Morning Ireland program.
He said the community would gather around Ms. O’Sullivan to help her during this time, but he said the restrictions of Covid-19 would make it more difficult.
“A very sad scene”
The Kanturk curate, Father John Magner, was present at the place where he blessed the bodies and later offered consolation to Ms. O’Sullivan in the home of relatives.
“I talked to her a little and offered consolation. I prayed for her to have the strength to deal with his enormous loss, ”Father Magner told RTÉ Radios News at One.
It was difficult for him to find the words to say to her, he said. “I didn’t know what to say. I did my best to chat with her and prayed over her. It was a very sad scene. “It was difficult to communicate through masks, he said.
He said it was difficult for younger people to understand that someone their age left this world so early.
John Paul O’Shea from Lombardstown said people in Castlemagner and nearby Kanturk were trying to come to terms with the tragedy.
“There is a total sense of disbelief. The exact details of the case need to be confirmed, but it appears that there is a very close community in Castlemagner. The confirmation that three people have passed away is very tragic and has been greeted with a real sense of sadness and loss in the area.
“The news will be posted on various social media platforms so that people from Castlemagner and Kanturk all over the world will know about it, so it will be very difficult for people to come to terms with it, but I have no doubt that people will will gather in Castlemagner and support the family. “
Fianna Fáil city councilor Pat Hayes said it was a tragedy for the family and said his thoughts, sympathies and prayers go to them during this very difficult time.
“It’s a real shock to the community,” he said.
“We’re a very close community here and to be honest, everyone is just deaf.” – Additional reporting PA
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