Inquest to open into Mitchelstown murder-suicide 

Johnny Hennessy killed his brothers Paddy and Willie at the family farmhouse last February
Inquest to open into Mitchelstown murder-suicide 

Brothers Willie and Paddy Hennessy from Curraghgorm, near Kildorrery pictured in 2009. The brothers were found dead in a suspected murder-suicide in north Cork. File Picture

An inquest is due to open on Wednesday into the murder-suicide deaths of three brothers in North Cork.

Johnny Hennessy killed his brothers Paddy and Willie at the family farmhouse in Curraghgorm near Mitchelstown, Co Cork, in February, before taking his own life.

Detectives believe the 59-year-old killed his two older brothers with an axe.

 A Garda car at the entrance to the Hennessy family farm at Curraghgorm near Mitchelstown, North Cork. Picture: Dan Linehan
A Garda car at the entrance to the Hennessy family farm at Curraghgorm near Mitchelstown, North Cork. Picture: Dan Linehan

Willie, 66, and Paddy, 60, were found shortly before midnight on February 25 at their family farm, with Paddy's body being discovered in a farmyard and Willie in a nearby shed.

They both suffered horrific head injuries.

Johnny Hennessy is understood to have then driven his red Toyota Corolla van to a farmhouse at Killacluig, Mitchelstown, where he parked and walked over several fields to the River Funshion where he took his own life.

The brothers were known locally as The Saints, and surviving friends and family remain baffled as to why Johnny did what he did.

One theory is a row broke out among the brothers over the sale of cattle and the distribution of wood on the family farm.

Gardaí believe Johnny may have already killed his two older brothers when he rang his sister to say he had had a row with them and assured gardaí there was no need for officers to visit their farm.

The River Funshion near the Hennessy farmhouse, where Johnny Hennessy's body was recovered. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
The River Funshion near the Hennessy farmhouse, where Johnny Hennessy's body was recovered. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Paddy’s daughter Elaine has since tried to raise awareness about mental health and the importance of people talking to others about their problems.

The mother-of-four found Paddy and Willie and would later describe the horrific discovery as “surreal”.

She told Cork radio station C103FM: “It was a shock when I went out. They were absolutely the nicest men you would ever meet — there will never be men like them again.

"They were so easy going — they lived simple lives, they were happy with the simple things in life.

The Garda ombudsman Gsoc launched an investigation into contact gardaí had with Johnny Hennessy on the Thursday evening before the alarm was raised.

Gardaí from Mitchelstown are understood to have telephoned him but he told them all was okay.

- If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please click here for a list of support services.

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