Autopsies to determine course of  investigation into deaths of mother and two children

Bodies were discovered shortly before midday on Wednesday in South Dublin
Autopsies to determine course of  investigation into deaths of mother and two children

Flowers at Llewellyn Court, Ballinteer, Dublin,  where a young mother and her two children were found dead on Wednesday. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Autopsies will determine the course of the Garda investigation into the discovery of the bodies of a mother and her two children in South Dublin.

Preliminary indications from the scene suggested Seema Banu, aged 37, Asfira Riza, 11, and Faizan Syed, 6, died from strangulation.

Gardaí from Dundrum Garda Station are continuing to investigate the deaths. 

The bodies were discovered at Llywellen Court, Ballinteer, shortly before midday on Wednesday.

Dr Heidi Okkers, locum assistant state pathologist, will complete autopsies on the three deceased tomorrow and the results of his examinations will help determine the course of the investigation.

While gardaí are following a strong line of inquiry, they are keeping an open mind. 

Officers have spoken to the father of the children. He has been given access to medical treatment.

Orlaith Curran, principal of the Ballinteer Educate Together National School where both children attended, said their deaths were "a terrible tragedy for their family, our school, and our community".

"We are deeply saddened by these devastating events. Our sympathy and thoughts are with the children’s family and friends." 

Faizan Syed was in first class, while Asfira Riza, was in sixth. 

Ahead of the school's return from mid-term break next week, Ms Curran said psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service have been supporting staff.

The school has also initiated its critical incident management plan in response to the deaths. 

Offers of support have been most welcome, Ms Curran added. 

A statement from the Educate Together national office described the deaths as an "awful tragedy".

It added: "Words fall short of expressing the shock and profound sadness many are feeling when thinking about the children and family affected."

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