A man is in garda custody in connection with the triple killing and the siblings’ 14-year-old brother remains in hospital
Mr Coveney described twins Christy and Chelsea Cawley (8) as “two beautiful children” while also remembering their older sister Lisa Cash (18) who were killed in a violent attack in their home in Tallaght on Sunday morning.
A man is in garda custody in connection with the triple killing and the siblings’ 14-year-old brother remains in hospital being treated for injuries sustained in the incident.
The children’s mother is being cared for by family and friends having been released from hospital yesterday.
“Like so many other people. I was just so shocked to read about what happened to two beautiful children and a young teenage girl.
"And I think every parent dropping their kids to school this week will be listening to your show this morning [will be shocked].
“I think it's stunned a lot of people and of course for the community in Tallaght, for the school communities and obviously for the family members and friends of the deceased.
"This is really an incredibly shocking, shocking, tragic time. I just wanted to say our thoughts are with them, I think I can speak for an awful lot of people when I say that,” Mr Coveney said on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.
Kevin Shortall, the principal of St Aidan’s school, where Lisa Cash did her Leaving Cert, said the local community is in shock following the horrific killings.
“We are all just meeting each other and shaking our heads and giving each other hugs and things like that.
"It's a very difficult morning but it's also good that we can be together and communities such as ours, that's what happens when people reach out and understand each other,” Mr Shortall said on the same programme.
“Anybody that knows our community here in Brookfield will know how close it is, how strong the bonds are between the school and the community. “And how at times like these, even though this is unprecedented and you know, nothing like this has ever happened before, and times of great sorrow and great tragedy.
"People come to their school, people meet their teachers, people make chaplains and counsellors and school care team members and so on. And that's how we cope with these things,” Mr Shortall said.
The St Aidan’s Principal said Lisa was hugely popular and very highly regarded among her peers and within the school.
“All day yesterday people were sending me messages about Lisa.
“She was a quiet, beautiful young girl. very diligent, hard working and got on with her work, was great support to her friends, was great support to her friends in times of trouble. I've heard that from a number of people yesterday and she worked very hard on her leaving cert and as you know, and as everybody listening will know, in difficult times during Covid.
“She is remembered as one of the most honest, genuine, young people full of integrity and no fuss, no drama around her. Went about her business, was hugely highly regarded and very warmly remembered by so many staff members here in the school.
"I couldn't get over the things that people were saying about her. Just a lovely, lovely person.
"Hugely hugely, highly regarded and will be terribly badly missed and a lovely big sister to her brothers and sisters as well. I believe she was babysitting at the time and that would have been something that she was just so good at and you know, she was the kind of person you can trust,” Mr Shortall said.