Villagers call for demolition of ‘bad luck’ cottage after five deaths

Locals in the village of Lixnaw, Co Kerry, are seeking the demolition of a council-owned cottage where a number of people have died, including a woman who died violently there last year.

The parish priest of Lixnaw has said there is concern and people believe there is a “máchail” (defect or harm) or “mí-ádh” (bad luck) associated with this particular house on the edge of Ballynageragh bog near the village

The simple, unassuming looking cottage, which most likely replaced an older house, can be associated with at least five tragic, accidental or violent deaths — most recently that of 62-year-old Susan Dunne who had moved into the house with her autistic son, Patrick, 18 months before her death. Her son stands accused of her murder.

The issue was brought to public attention by way of motion at the first meeting of the Listowel Electoral Area meeting.

The council has confirmed that it is considering the call to knock the cottage, but is treating the matter sensitively as the effects of Ms Dunne, who died violently there last November, have yet to be removed from the house.

The council is liaising with Ms Dunne’s extended family before any decision about refurbishment or demolition.

Councillor Robert Beasley of Sinn Féin yesterday said no one will ever live there again and locals are genuinely concerned in case the council try to locate any other family or individual in the house.

He said he had been approached during the recent election campaign and it was raised on doorsteps constantly when he was out canvassing for the May local elections.

The cottage replaced an older dwelling and locals say at least five tragic deaths have been associated with the property. In years past, a man who had lived there was stabbed in Wales; another died in a road accident; and in the last 20 years, there have been three tragic deaths in the house — all involving different families.

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