Warning: This report contains details some readers may find distressing.
Twins Christy and Chelsea Cawley (8), and their 18-year-old sister Lisa Cash, all died following the violent assault at the property in Rossfield Estate, Tallaght, shortly after midnight on Sunday morning.
All three suffered injuries consistent with being stabbed with a large knife, and a 24-year-old man last night remained in custody on suspicion of the triple murder.
Neighbours reported hearing a female shout, ‘Help me’
Gardaí from the Armed Support Unit (ASU) used non-lethal devices to subdue the man at the scene, who had, during a stand-off, also hidden in an unconverted attic in the property before he was later arrested.
Detectives at Tallaght garda station are continuing to establish the events that led to the murders, and at this stage believe the suspect was socialising at a house in Clondalkin before a row developed.
He then left the property and travelled to the Rossfield area in a taxi, where he is suspected of carrying out the horrific attack.
Neighbours reported hearing a female shouting “help me” and hearing windows smashing, while also witnessing gardaí attempt to apprehend the violent suspect.
Both Chelsea and Christy Cawley were recovered by gardaí outside the property, having been stabbed multiple times before being thrown from a smashed upstairs window.
Paramedics and doctors tried desperately to save the twins as they were rushed to Crumlin Children’s Hospital but they were later pronounced dead.
After the ASU gained entry to the house, they discovered Lisa Cash at the bottom of the stairs. She was also pronounced dead in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Another 14-year-old brother managed to flee the property and notified relatives. He remained in Tallaght Hospital last night where he was being treated for serious but non-life threatening injuries.
The victims’ mother, aged in her 40s, was also hospitalised for medical treatment but was discharged yesterday to be supported by family members.
They were lovely, mannerly kids
One resident became emotional as he recalled seeing one of the young children being dropped from an upstairs window by the suspect.
“They were lovely, mannerly kids, they would have played with my grandchildren. Only the other day they were passing by, just being kids, and now this happened. It just doesn’t make any sense,” the man aged in his 60s said.
Dozens of floral tributes were also left at the scene yesterday, with one message reading: “Fly high little angels, our hearts are broken for you all”.
Bystander footage also showed gardaí arriving at the scene and shouting at the suspect “don’t do it” before a window can be heard smashing.
Responding gardaí can also be heard calling the suspect’s name and telling him “show us your f****** hands”, while a woman is screaming in the background.
Gardaí said that the suspect was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984. It is understood he required hospital treatment before being taken into Garda custody.
A Garda spokesman also said they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident at this time.
“Gardaí in Tallaght have established an incident room and all the circumstances of this incident are being investigated under the direction of a senior investigating officer,” the spokesperson said.
The scene in Rossfield Estate remained sealed off for forensic examination by the Garda Technical Bureau.
Post-mortem examinations were also expected to take place between yesterday and today by State Pathologist Dr Sally Anne Collis.
The incident was also described by gardaí as “violent, challenging and traumatic” with its members who were present being provided with welfare supports.