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Tragedy Gardai unable to establish motive in Cork murder-suicide case

A source close to the garda investigation said there has been “no major developments” in establishing what prompted the attack.

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Paddy Hennessy (right) with his brother Willie

Paddy Hennessy (right) with his brother Willie

Paddy Hennessy (right) with his brother Willie

Gardaí have been unable to establish a definitive line of inquiry or motive in the case of an apparent murder suicide in Co Cork.

The bodies of Willie Hennessy (66) and Paddy Hennessy (60) were found at the family home at Curraghgorm on the outskirts of Mitchelstown earlier this month.

The body of their younger brother Johnny (59) was recovered from the nearby River Funshion a few hours later.

Post-mortem examinations were conducted on the men at Cork University Hospital by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster. The results were not released for operational reasons.

However, it is understood that Willie and Paddy died of injuries consistent with an assault with an axe. The men suffered shock and haemorrhage associated with trauma from head injuries. Johnny died from drowning.

Paddy’s daughter Elaine and her mother, Stephanie, Paddy’s ex-wife, made the horrific discovery at the farm after they became concerned when he failed to return to Elaine’s home in Mitchelstown.

Armed gardaí rushed to the scene believing a gun may have been used and it was initially treated as a possible armed incident. They carried out a search of the property where the brothers grew up and found the body of Willie. An axe was discovered nearby.

It had been suggested that the bothers may have argued over matters relating to the family farm, including the sales of felled trees and some livestock. Local speculation also pointed to financial stress compounded by isolation as a result of the pandemic.

However, a source close to the garda investigation said there has been “no major developments” in establishing what prompted the attack.

They said many theories had been put forward, but gardaí “still haven’t been able to say exactly what happened”.

“There is still no definitive line of investigation or motive at the moment,” said the source. “We may never know what happened.”

Gardaí are not looking for anyone else in relation to the deaths.


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