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tragedy Bodies of brothers who died in Cork double-murder suicide released back to family

Funeral details have not been confirmed as yet but the arrangements will take place over the coming days.

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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. Pic Se‡n Burke/Provision

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. Pic Se‡n Burke/Provision

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. Pic Se‡n Burke/Provision

THE bodies of three brothers who died in a horrific double-murder suicide have been released back to their heartbroken Cork family.

Funeral details have not been confirmed as yet but the arrangements will take place over the coming days in strict adherence to Covid-19 Level Five lockdown guidelines.

Willie (66), Paddy 'Pa' (60) and Johnny (59) Hennessy died in a double murder-suicide which has left the tightknit north Cork community of Mitchelstown reeling.

The deaths followed a disagreement over income from the small family farm at Corragorm outside Mitchelstown which tragically escalated on Thursday evening.

Post mortem examinations were conducted Saturday and Sunday at Cork University Hospital (CUH) by Locum State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster.

The results have not been released by Gardaí for operational reasons.

However, it is understood Willie and Pa both died from multiple severe trauma injuries to the head consistent with blows from a heavy axe.

A blood-stained axe was found a short distance from where the first two bodies were discovered at Corragorm last Thursday night, some 8km outside Mitchelstown in north Cork.

The post mortem examinations also confirmed that there were no injuries involved linked to firearms.

Johnny is understood to have died from drowning.

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Hennessy family home at Curraghgorm, near Mitchelstown, Co Cork.

Hennessy family home at Curraghgorm, near Mitchelstown, Co Cork.

Hennessy family home at Curraghgorm, near Mitchelstown, Co Cork.

The body of Pa was found in the yard of the family farm where the brothers operated a firewood business and raised dry cattle.

The body of his older brother, Willie, was discovered in a nearby shed.

It is feared both were attacked by their younger brother, Johnny.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene late on Thursday night after armed Gardaí had attended the property when a relative had raised the alarm after discovering one of the bodies lying in the farmyard.

However, Gardaí found no sign of their younger brother, Johnny, at the farm where he lived.

A major manhunt was launched and Johnny's Toyota Corolla van was discovered on Friday morning parked some 4km away by Killacluig Church.

At lunchtime, the Garda helicopter crew spotted a body in the nearby River Funshion - just over 1km across fields from the parked car.

The body of Johnny Hennessy was later recovered by the Garda Water Unit and taken to CUH.

Gardaí confirmed they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the matter.

A Garda Síochana Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) review is underway over a possible contact with one of the deceased brothers before the tragedy.

Technical experts are concluding forensic examinations at a number of scenes around Corragorm.

Detectives again appealed to any persons who may have information in relation to the incident to come forward.

"Gardaí are appealing for any persons who may have any information in relation to the whereabouts of the red Toyota Corolla car van, registration number 03 WW 1556 between midnight on Thursday, February 25 until 10am on Friday February 26 when it was located by Gardaí."

"Anyone who has any information should contact investigating Gardaí at Mitchelstown Garda Station on 025 84833, the Garda Confidential Line
1800 666 111 or any Garda Station."

The three brothers were nicknamed 'The Saints' locally - and had lost another brother, Jer, to a family tragedy in 2014.
A nephew had also died in tragic circumstances in 2012.

Locals said they were deeply shocked at the horrific nature of the triple tragedy – and hailed the Hennessy family as tremendous neighbours.

"They were the hardest working men you could ever meet – and the most obliging of neighbours,” one local said.

"If you needed help with a job, the lads would be the first to offer to help you.”

Both Willie and Johnny were single while Pa was a father of two. He had worked for over 30 years in various tyre fitting firms in Mitchelstown.

His last employer, Michael Downey of JD Tyres, said Pa was “the nicest fella and the most obliging colleague you could ever hope to work with.”

The brothers were also well known local sportsmen, having played handball in the 1970s and 1980s. They had also played hurling with Ballygiblin GAA in Mitchelstown.

All three had worked the small family holding, raising dry cattle, preparing and selling firewood, undertaking local contracting work and supplying both hay and straw to neighbouring farmers.


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