Gardaí search for clues after tragic deaths in Limerick

Gardaí search for clues after tragic deaths in Limerick
Alex James Power. Pictures: Press 22

Gardaí are to trawl through social media sites to see if Marco Velocci left any indication of his thoughts or plans in the time leading up to yesterday's suspected murder-suicide, writes David Raleigh.

Post mortems on the bodies of Mr Velocci, 28, and his three-year-old son Alex James, are to be conducted today at University Hospital Limerick by the Assistant State Pathologist Dr Louise Mulligan.

As part of normal practise in such cases, the pathologist will carry out a series of toxicology tests to see whether or not either of the deceased had consumed any medication or drugs prior to their shocking deaths.

Mr Velocci and his son were killed instantly when their car impacted head-on with a truck on the N24, on the outskirts of their native village Oola, in south east Limerick.

Several witnesses reported seeing Mr Velocci's '05 registered black Audi veering across the road and into the path of an oncoming articulated truck, around 8.30am.

The car involved in today's crash, pictured at the scene,. Picture: Press 22
The car involved in today's crash, pictured at the scene,. Picture: Press 22

Earlier on the morning, Mr Velocci's ex-partner and mother of his son, Jodie Power, sustained minor stab wounds and a fractured arm during a domestic incident with Mr Velocci at her home, at Glebe Oola.

After the violent confrontation, Mr Velocci, a 28-year old son of an Italian immigrant, fled Ms Powers' home with their son, leaving in his car in the direction of the main Limerick Waterford Road.

This morning, a neighbour of Ms Powers, who did not wish to be identified, said the community was numbed by the double tragedy.

Paying tribute to the deceased toddler, they said: "He'd always say hello that the gate of the house. He was a lovely little lad, you'd always see him out playing."

In the back garden of Ms Power's rented 1950s neatly presented bungalow, which could be seen from the roadway, signs of past happier family times included a child's swings and slide; a trampoline; a windmill bird table, and a cartoon cat.

Marco Velocci With Jodi Power.
Marco Velocci With Jodi Power.

Looking at the house where yesterday's double tragedy began in the still warm sunshine of what was the hottest day of the year, the neighbour shook their head.

"It's hard to comprehend. It's terrible," they added.

Tuesday's tragic circumstances sent shockwaves the community, sparking off memories in many local minds of a similar tragedy which left its scar in Oola, 19 years ago, last May.

Elderly local farmer Jimmy Gubbins shot his wife in the back as she attended to a clothes line in their yard, before turning the gun on himself.

It later emerged Mr Gubbins killed himself after shooting his wife Kitty, because he was feeling depressed.

He wrote a suicide note before carrying out the double shooting with a double-barrelled shotgun.

Penning a letter to his children, Robert and Noreen, he scribbled: "I'm depressed, and don't want to live anymore."

Mr Gubbins was known as a jolly man who was "always laughing".

In the suicide note he apologised to his children for what he was about to do, and he told them he loved them.

The couple, in their seventies, were discovered side-by side at the back door of their farmhouse in Oola.

They were buried together.


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