Gardaí have begun an investigation into a suspected double homicide and suicide following the discovery of the bodies of three members of one family in Co Kerry on Tuesday night.
The body of a woman, aged in her 60s, and a man, aged in his 20s, were found inside a house at Ballyreehan, Lixnaw.
The body of a second man, aged in his 60s, was discovered outside the rear of the house.
All three bodies had gunshot wounds and gardaí said a firearm was recovered from the scene.
The woman's body was discovered in the house by a neighbour shortly after 9pm, at which point the alarm was raised.
The State pathologist and the Garda Technical Bureau have been contacted and the scene is currently preserved.
Investigations are ongoing however gardaí said they are not looking for any other person in relation to the incident at this time.
Acting Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys described the incident as a “truly awful tragedy”.
She tweeted: “The shock and devastation being felt by the family and the community is unimaginable. An Garda Síochána is engaging with the local community and will carry out a full investigation.”
The parish priest of Lixnaw told of the sense of unreality and disbelief in the village at the deaths.
Speaking on Newstalk radio, Fr Anthony O’Sullivan said he had been called to the scene at 11.15pm on Tuesday night to say prayers.
“There’s a sense of numbness, unreality, disbelief that it happened. I feel the same way myself, numb. It’s difficult to express how I feel.”
Fr O’Sullivan, who has been in Lixnaw for only two years, said he had met one member of the family briefly. Covid restrictions had meant that there was not much interaction, but he said it was a very caring parish.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can freephone the Samaritans 24 hours a day for confidential support at 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, the contact information for a range of mental health supports is available at mentalhealthireland.ie/get-support.
In the case of an emergency, or if you or someone you know is at risk, dial 999/112.