Kanturk community heartbroken by loss of father and two sons

Kanturk community heartbroken by loss of father and two sons

Tadgh, Mark and Diarmuid O’Sullivan who died in a shooting in a remote part of Kanturk in North Cork. Picture: Gardaí

“Don’t envy anyone, because you never know what’s going on in their lives.”

These were the haunting words of Kanturk local Edmond Barrett, of Barrett’s Off Licence, who was among those absorbing the shock of yesterday’s triple tragedy.

The remains of 59-year-old Tadgh O’Sullivan and his two sons Diarmuid and Mark, both aged in their 20s, were discovered at two locations at the family farm at Assolas.

The business owner said the community is dumbfounded and struggling to come to terms with the loss of three members of a “highly regarded and much-loved family”.

He recalled how, as a child, one of the deceased men would call into the sweet shop he once owned to buy sweets.

“I can still remember him as a very bubbly child who would often drop in to buy sweets on his way home from school,” he said.

“His family were central enough, but still lived remotely. I knew that his was the only house in the townland, so I was often asking him about the area where he lived.”

Mr Barrett said he is familiar with some extended members of the family, who are said to be both shocked and heartbroken at yesterday’s tragic events.

“One man told me that he was so shook by what happened he couldn’t finish work,” he said. “Nobody can comprehend what has happened.”

 The remains of the O’Sullivan family Diarmuid, Mark and their father Tadgh who were killed after a shooting incident near Kanturk are brought to the Cork University Hospital last night by three hearses. Picture Dan Linehan
The remains of the O’Sullivan family Diarmuid, Mark and their father Tadgh who were killed after a shooting incident near Kanturk are brought to the Cork University Hospital last night by three hearses. Picture Dan Linehan

Mr Barrett also spoke of how Ann, the mother of Diarmuid and Mark, and wife of Tadgh, is battling a serious illness and had spent recent weeks recovering from an operation.

He added that nobody could have ever predicted the tragedy.

“The extended family of the men who died would be well known in the area,” said Mr Barrett.

“This family were well respected.

“I was always told: ‘Don’t envy anyone, because you never know what’s going on in their lives.’

“Nobody could have ever known this was going to happen.

“The family have relatives in Dublin and it’s going to be very hard for them, not to be able to get down during the pandemic.”

He spoke of how shock is still rippling through the community.

“It being a bank holiday, the word hasn’t filtered through as quickly as it would have.

“Everyone is dumbfounded.”

He described Kanturk and Castlemagner as tight-knit communities, and added: “Everyone is feeling for the whole family.”

Locals from the area shared his sentiment. One woman added: “We don’t know much about the people, but my guess is that they kept to themselves. Everyone is in shock.”

Fine Gael councillor John Paul O’Shea knew the family.

He said: “Everyone is deeply saddened and shocked by this tragedy.

“My thoughts go out to the family and to the wider community of Castlemagner and Kanturk as they come to terms with this unimaginable loss.

“There is a strong and determined community spirit in Castlemagner, and the community there I know will rally around their families, neighbours, and friends over the coming days as they deal with this tragic loss.”

An Garda Síochána is appealing to anyone who may have any information which may assist in the investigation of the incidents which occurred yesterday morning to contact the investigating garda at Mallow Garda Station on 022 31450, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.

 Superintendent Adrian Gamble speaking at the Garda press conference outside Kanturk Garda Station, North Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
Superintendent Adrian Gamble speaking at the Garda press conference outside Kanturk Garda Station, North Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

Timeline of tragic events:

6.30am: The alarm was raised by Ann O’Sullivan, who is in her 60s, that firearms had been used in the family home at Assolas, between Kanturk and Castlemagner. She said one of three men in the house may have suffered gunshot wounds.

Gardaí responded to the scene shortly afterwards and initiated its Critical Firearms incident response after discovering further shots were fired.

8.30am: A media blackout on the incident was requested by gardaí. Throughout the morning, gardaí remained at the scene, trying to make contact with the occupants of the house.

1pm: Members of the Emergency Response Unit approached the house and found the body of one man, in his 20s, in a bedroom of the house. No other persons were present in the house.

1.40pm: Two other men — one aged 59, and the other in his 20s — were found in a nearby field. They both had suffered gunshot wounds. They were both dead. The three men have been named locally as Tadhg O’Sullivan, and his two sons, Diarmuid and Mark.

3.30pm: The media blackout was lifted and gardaí said they were not looking for anybody else as part of their investigation. The office of the State Pathologist was informed and the Garda Technical Bureau were tasked to the two scenes.

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