| 6.8°C Dublin

Tragic dispute Gardai fear Kanturk tragedy was murder-suicide after legal letters found at scene

Close

An ambulance leaves the scene near Kanturk where three men were killed.

An ambulance leaves the scene near Kanturk where three men were killed.

John Allen/Provision

An ambulance leaves the scene near Kanturk where three men were killed.

Legal letters over the bitter inheritance dispute that cost a father and his two sons their lives were found at the scene of what gardaí fear was a murder-double suicide.

Detectives are now investigating if Mark O’Sullivan (25) was confronted by his father, Timothy ‘Tadhg’ O’Sullivan (59), and brother Diarmuid (23) in the bedroom of the family home at Assolas, outside Kanturk, Co Cork, before being shot dead.

The bodies of his father and younger brother were later found 600 metres from the farmhouse off the Castlemagner-Kanturk road.

Both had suffered a single gunshot injury and were lying only a few metres apart. Two rifles were found nearby.

Three legally-held firearms were recovered by gardaí from both scenes, two rifles and a shotgun.

Post-mortems on the bodies of Tadhg and Diarmuid were carried out at Cork University Hospital (CUH) yesterday by assistant state pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster.

A post-mortem on the body of Mark is expected to be conducted today. Formal identification of all three will take place later as Ann O’Sullivan (60) – the brothers’ mother and Tadgh’s wife – was too distraught to visit the hospital.

Close

Tadgh O’Sullivan, who was found dead along with two sons, Diarmuid and Mark, at a property at Assolas, Kanturk, Co Cork in the north-east of the county, in what is being treated as a suspected murder suicide (Family/An Garda Siochana/PA)

Tadgh O’Sullivan, who was found dead along with two sons, Diarmuid and Mark, at a property at Assolas, Kanturk, Co Cork in the north-east of the county, in what is being treated as a suspected murder suicide (Family/An Garda Siochana/PA)

PA

Tadgh O’Sullivan, who was found dead along with two sons, Diarmuid and Mark, at a property at Assolas, Kanturk, Co Cork in the north-east of the county, in what is being treated as a suspected murder suicide (Family/An Garda Siochana/PA)

The results of the postmortems were being withheld by gardaí for operational reasons.

However, it is understood both Tadhg and Diarmuid died from a single shot fired from close range.

Gardaí are awaiting the pathologist’s report on whether Mark was shot once or a number of times.

Gardai are focusing on the tragedy having been a murder-double suicide.

The Herald understands legal letters in relation to the inheritance dispute were recovered from the farmhouse.

A letter outlining the personal toll of the inheritance dispute was found near the bodies of Tadhg and Diarmuid.

Close

Diarmuid O’Sullivan, who was found dead along with his brother Mark and his father Tadgh O’Sullivan, at a property at Assolas, Kanturk, Co Cork in the north-east of the county, in what is being treated as a suspected murder suicide (Family/An Garda Siochana/PA)

Diarmuid O’Sullivan, who was found dead along with his brother Mark and his father Tadgh O’Sullivan, at a property at Assolas, Kanturk, Co Cork in the north-east of the county, in what is being treated as a suspected murder suicide (Family/An Garda Siochana/PA)

PA

Diarmuid O’Sullivan, who was found dead along with his brother Mark and his father Tadgh O’Sullivan, at a property at Assolas, Kanturk, Co Cork in the north-east of the county, in what is being treated as a suspected murder suicide (Family/An Garda Siochana/PA)

The will at the centre of the row, details of which only emerged two weeks ago, would apparently have meant Mark would inherit a €2m local farmholding of more than 140 acres.

His brother had expected a share, but believed he was effectively excluded.

Diarmuid had passed his accountancy exams at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and was due to be conferred next week with a first-class honours degree.

A local source said Diarmuid had been very upset over the matter in recent weeks, with other family members deeply concerned about him.

Detectives are investigating whether there had been a row over the will on Sunday night that escalated into a fatal confrontation when the father and two brothers argued again in Mark’s bedroom at 6.40am on Monday.

Detectives believe Mr O’Sullivan and his sons were already dead when they arrived at the scene at 7am.

Superintendent Adrian Gamble confirmed that a criminal investigation is under way, but said officers are not looking for anyone else in connection with the three deaths.

Herald


Episode 3: Cocaine - a deadly journey to Irish shores

Available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or SoundCloud.

Privacy