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family tragedy Kanturk shooting: Dad in farm murder had 'discussed similar cases' on at least three previous occasions

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Tadgh and Diarmuid O’Sullivan

Tadgh and Diarmuid O’Sullivan

Tadgh and Diarmuid O’Sullivan

THE father at the centre of a murder-double suicide involving his two sons had spoken about such tragedies and their impact on families on at least three previous occasions.

A man has contacted gardaí about conversations he had with Tadg O’Sullivan (59) on three separate occasions at the garage where the father-of-two worked.

In each case, Mr O’Sullivan specifically asked about the legacy impact of such tragedies on surviving family members – specifically referencing one previous Irish murder-suicide.

The man involved, who had met Mr O’Sullivan through his work in the motor trade over recent times, was so shocked at the triple-shooting tragedy and the recollection of the conversations he had had with him that he immediately contacted Kanturk gardaí.

CONVERSATIONS

It is understood the man thought nothing of the conversations at the time – assuming it was someone simply asking in a kind-hearted way after the welfare of people who had been impacted by such previous murder-suicides.

At no point was any suggestion of a threat made.

The conversations date back several months and the man has described Mr O'Sullivan as "an absolute gentleman. One of the nicest men you could deal with in the motor trade".

The revelation came as the funerals took place of Mr O'Sullivan and his two sons, Mark O'Sullivan (25) and Diarmuid O'Sullivan (23).

Mark, a trainee solicitor, was shot and killed following a confrontation with his father and younger brother last Monday morning in the bedroom of his Kanturk farmhouse home.

The confrontation was sparked by an inheritance row over a €2m farm.

A family feud over the 115-acre farm dramatically escalated when details of a proposed will became known just over two weeks ago.

After Mark's shooting, Tadg and Diarmuid then went to a field some 600 metres from the Assolas farmhouse and took their own lives.

Two .22 calibre rifles were found by their sides.

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Diarmuid and Tadg were buried together following Requiem Mass on Friday at St Mary's Church in Castlemagner.

A separate funeral was held for Mark on Saturday in Kanturk. He was later buried in a plot belonging to his mother's family.

The mourners were led by heartbroken mother Anne O'Sullivan (60), who suffered the loss of her entire family in the tragedy.

The devastated mother, a highly respected local nurse, has been battling serious ill health over recent times.

Tadg and Diarmuid deliberately did not target Anne - and left a detailed personal note, found beside Diarmuid's body, which was marked for her attention.

Anne had to run to a neighbour's house to desperately raise the alarm after realising Mark had been shot.

Her mobile phone had also been taken from her.

Mark's best friend, Sharmilla Rahman, hailed the trainee solicitor in a funeral tribute as "the greatest son a mother could ever have".

Her tribute was read out at Mark's Requiem Mass by his cousin, Barry Sherlock.

"Mark and I were best friends... Mark was the greatest son a mother could have. I know the bond between them was unbreakable," she wrote.

"Mark had such a big heart and so much love to give. I can't imagine how much effort and love he put into being Anne's son."

Sharmilla and Mark were friends from when they first met at the University of Limerick where they were both law students.

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