Gardaí probe deaths of twins, 9, and their brother in Cork

Post-mortem examinations are to be carried out on three members of a family, including twin boys, suspected of dying in a double murder and suicide.

Gardaí probe deaths of twins, 9, and their brother in Cork

Patrick and Thomas O'Driscoll

Post-mortem examinations are to be carried out on three members of a family, including twin boys, suspected of dying in a double murder and suicide.

The two youngsters Patrick and Thomas O'Driscoll, aged nine, were found dead in their home just outside the town of Charleville in north county Cork shortly before 5pm yesterday.

About an hour later, a brother of the boys, Jonathan, believed to be aged in his early 20s, was found dead in a forested area near a river just outside the town of Buttevant, about 15km from the scene of the first deaths.

Gardaí last night recovered two knives from the river near where his body was found and are examining them to establish if they were the weapons used in the killing of his brothers.

Three boys walking by the river in the area known locally as "Old Castle" raised the alarm after the man's body was found close to a car.

Garda detectives are not seeking anyone in connection with his death.

Locals told RedFM News there is a sense of disbelief in the town.

The alarm was raised when a member of the family arrived home and discovered the youngsters in the detached, pink and white bungalow just off the main Cork-Limerick road, an area of Charleville known as Deerpark.

A major police search was launched for another member of the family and his body was discovered in a wooded area near the river Awbeg at Castlelands just 1km from Buttevant.

Arrangements are being made for post-mortem examinations to be carried out on all three bodies at Cork University Hospital.

If the murder-suicide suspicions are confirmed, it will be the second incident of its kind in Ireland in just over six weeks.

Two brothers died in a tragedy at their home in rural Sligo in late July - nine-year-old Brandon Skeffington was found with stab wounds in the family home at Banada, Tourlestrane near Tubbercurry, before the body of his elder brother Shane junior, 21, was found in a shed beside the property.

It was the first murder-suicide to occur in Ireland for more than a year.

A study released last August examined 19 similar incidents over a 13-year period from January 2001 to the end of June last year.

The report revealed that on average one murder-suicide incident happens per year and 46 people died in the period under review.

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