kerry tragedy | 

Post-mortem finds Mossie O’Sullivan shot his son dead in bedroom before killing partner

Gardaí find no note and no evidence of financial difficulties in Kerry murder-suicide that claimed three lives
Mossie, Eileen and Jamie O'Sullivan were found dead in a suspected murder suicide at their home in Lixnaw, north Kerry

Mossie, Eileen and Jamie O'Sullivan were found dead in a suspected murder suicide at their home in Lixnaw, north Kerry

Robin Schiller

Mossie O’Sullivan shot dead his 24-year-old son in his bedroom before killing his partner and then himself in a double murder-suicide, investigations have established.

Gardaí at this stage do not believe a suicide note was left and have not uncovered any financial issues which would explain a possible motive for the murders.

Local officers were alerted to the tragedy in Kilfeighney near Lixnaw in north Kerry on Tuesday evening after a concerned neighbour made the shocking discovery.

At around 8.30pm Jamie O’Sullivan (24) and his mother Eileen (56) were found dead with gunshot wounds in separate bedrooms of the house.

Following a search their father and partner, Maurice ‘Mossie’ O’Sullivan (63), was found in a nearby field.

His legally owned shotgun was recovered with the body.

Gardaí based at Listowel have been carrying out a major inquiry into the tragedy in an attempt to establish a motive for the senseless killings.

Following post-mortem examinations investigators have determined that Jamie was shot dead first by his father before Mossie O’Sullivan killed his long-term partner Eileen in their bedroom.

It’s believed they were dead for up to 24 hours before their bodies were discovered.

Despite extensive searches, gardaí have not located any suicide note which would help determine a motive for the killings. understands that inquiries into the family’s background have also not yet unearthed any financial difficulties.

Last week Mossie O’Sullivan had sold sheep to another local man although it has not yet been determined if this was for monetary reasons.

At this stage gardaí also do not believe that he was suffering from any major health problems.

They have spoken to people who knew the father and believe there were no indications “of any nature” that he was about to carry out any acts of violence.

Gardaí are not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident and will prepare a file for the local coroner.

The scene at the O’Sullivan house, which is a short distance from Lixnaw village, is still being preserved by gardaí while their investigation continues.

As detectives continued their door-to-door enquiries yesterday, tributes were paid to Jamie, who was described by his hurling coach as “a gentleman”.

Crotta coach Jerome O’Sullivan told : “He was a lovely lad and a model student. He was a good hurler, so I invited him to come and play with Crotta.

“He played for us up as far as under-15s, and I couldn’t say enough about him.

“He was a gentleman to his fingertips and we’re all so devastated at what has happened.”

Earlier this week Superintendent Paul Kennedy said that gardaí have a lot of “unanswered questions” in relation to the deaths.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said Ireland needs to reflect and evaluate on murder-suicides in light of the Kerry tragedy, stating that “we can’t ignore events like this”.

Mr Martin, who was speaking in Co Cavan yesterday, said the number of such incidents in the country was a “significant worry”.

Within the last year alone there have been three such incidents in the south-west of the country, with nine fatalities.

The Taoiseach explained that while he did not wish to pre-empt the investigation into the three deaths, he believed that there may need to be some examination of firearms laws here.

“First of all, my deepest sympathies go to the family of those who were killed, and to the community,” he told reporters.

“These are devastating events, and the enormity of them are quite shocking.

“I do think we need to evaluate and reflect on this. But I’d like to hear the full analysis from all authorities and try to get a sense of what happened here.

“It has happened elsewhere as well in the country in recent times, and it is a very significant worry.

“So I do think we need to reflect on that and learn lessons from it and then apply it in a number of areas.”

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