Forensic experts examine scenes of Limerick and Cork tragedies

Leading forensics experts will today begin examining the inside of a house where two children, their mother and her friend were murdered.

Leading forensics experts will today begin examining the inside of a house where two children, their mother and her friend were murdered.

The four were stabbed to death – the youngsters upstairs and the women downstairs – in a rented home in Newcastle West which investigators described as an unspeakable scene.

An unemployed 31-year-old man, believed to be the partner of one of the women, was arrested at a seaside spot in Co Clare several hours after the attack.

He had been tracked to Kilkee on the Co Clare west coast after being seen in a bar where he was drinking a pint moments after eating a chicken curry dinner.

The victims were Sarah Hines, 25, her son Reece, three, and five-month-old daughter Amy. Ms Hines’ 20-year-old friend Alicia Brough from Rockchapel, Co Cork was also killed.

The quadruple murder suspect was detained at Henry Street garda station in Limerick city.

Officials from the State Pathologist’s office are expected at the house after attending the scene of a murder-suicide in Co Cork yesterday.

Unemployed John Butler, 43, is believed to have strangled his two daughters, Ella, two, and Zoe, six, at their home before dousing his car in petrol and crashing it at high speed into a ditch in the seaside town of Ballycotton.

He died when the small car was engulfed in a fireball.

The girls' mother was at work in Cork City at the time.

Mr Butler was a former worker with Irish Steel, and had jobs in construction in recent years, but was thought to have been made unemployed lately.

An incident room has been set up at Midleton garda station and anyone with any information is asked to come forward.

The local school where Zoe was a pupil will remain open today to support parents and offer them advice and guidance.

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