A middle-aged man and his two children have died in a suspected accidental gas poisoning, gardaí said today.
The three family members, originally from England, were found dead in their rural home in south Co Sligo last night.
The man’s step-daughter, also from Britain and believed to have been visiting, made the discovery when she called to the house, called the Forget-Me-Not cottage.
The man, aged 52, his daughter believed to be 12 and the son, nine, were found dead in the living room. Christmas decorations including a tree were on display in the home.
The three bodies were discovered in the house at Moygara, about one mile from the village of Gurteen, last night with the father believed to have been in an armchair and his children lying on the floor.
The man’s wife has been ill in Sligo General Hospital.
There had been reports of a smell of gas in the area at the time the alarm was raised while gardaí said one line of inquiry centred on whether there may have been a carbon monoxide leak.
A local doctor pronounced them dead in the home after an ambulance was called and gardaí notified at about 9.40pm.
Michael Curtis, the Deputy State Pathologist, arrived at the house to lead technical examinations just after midday. The bodies were removed about an hour later.
A full forensic inquiry will also take place.
Crews from the local fire service attended the house last night and may be asked to return to the scene today. Post-mortem examinations are also expected to be carried out later.
The family are believed to have moved into the area about six years ago. They had been living in an isolated county council house.
Gerry Murray, a Fine Gael councillor living in the area, said the small community of about 300 people had been left stunned.
“The details of the deaths we don’t know, but I do know that the village of Gurteen is very upset,” he said.