Criminal investigation launched after murder-suicide in Kerry

Superintendent Paul Kennedy, Listowel Garda, confirmed that gardaí had not been alerted in advance about any issues at the family.
Criminal investigation launched after murder-suicide in Kerry

Updated at 19:55

Gardaí have launched a criminal investigation into the suspected double murder-suicide in Co Kerry last night.

Superintendent Paul Kennedy, Listowel Garda, confirmed that gardaí had not been alerted in advance about any issues at the family.

“We have no knowledge of anybody in the days preceding this that would have contacted us directly,“This was a very decent family who were not previously known to us.

“At the moment we don’t have motive.”

The superintendent appealed for help from the local community.We have a lot of unanswered questions,” he said.

“The family are a very well respected and private family.

Private family

“We are appealing for people to come forward to help determine what happened.

“We have an open mind into the events leading up to this event, and we are examining everything,” he said.

The family who died in Lixnaw last night has been named locally, the Irish Examiner reports.

Eileen O’Sullivan and her son Jamie, 23, appear to have been shot dead before her partner, Mossie O’Sullivan, turned the gun on himself.

Gunshot wounds

All three bodies were found around 9pm last night at Eileen’s family home at Ballyreehan, near Lixnaw, north Co Kerry.

Gardaí have begun an investigation into the suspected double homicide and suicide following the discovery of the bodies on Tuesday night.

The bodies of Eileen and Jamie were found inside the house at Ballyreehan, Lixnaw, while the body of Mossie O'Sullivan, who was 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 by a neighbour shortly after 9pm, at which point the alarm was raised.

The State pathologist and the Garda Technical Bureau are working on the case and the scene is currently preserved.

A technical investigation of the family's bungalow home took place on Wednesday afternoon, with more details to emerge throughout the day.

Investigations are ongoing however gardaí said they are not looking for any other person in relation to the incident at this time.

Awful tragedy

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.

Kerry mayor and Fianna Fáil councillor Jimmy Moloney said the community is stunned.

He told Newstalk: “There is devastation across the community. [The family] have our support at this time and we're thinking of them.”

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 Alternatively, the contact information for a range of mental health supports is available at

In the case of an emergency, or if you or someone you know is at risk, dial 999/112.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more