probe launched Locals express deep shock after three men killed in Cork shooting
A FATHER and two adult sons have died in an horrific shooting in Cork.
The incident is being treated by Gardai as a double murder-suicide.
The shooting took place near a farm outside Kanturk in north Cork around 7am and is understood to have followed a disagreement which tragically escalated out of control and claimed the lives of a 59 year old, a 25 year old and a 23 year old man.
One man apparently armed himself with a firearm following the dispute and fatally wounded another man.
When a third man desperately intervened to try and prevent further bloodshed, further shots were fired.
An older man was critically wounded at this stage.
The older man's wife, who was in her 60s, bravely managed to escape the house outside Assolas, between Castlemagner and Kanturk, and successfully raised the alarm.
The woman is understood to have been battling serious health issues over recent times.
The traumatised woman was being comforted by relatives and friends.
Gardaí rushed to the scene supported by armed units shortly after 7am.
Both the Regional Armed Support Unit and the Emergency Response Unit were deployed to the scene.
The area was sealed-off with a double security cordon as Gardai prevented all traffic from entering an area 1km around the isolated farmyard property which is located down a long laneway off the Castlemagner-Kanturk road.
Specially trained Garda negotiators were deployed but were unable to make contact with anyone in the property.
A strict day-long media black-out was imposed by Gardaí as they dealt with the incident.
Garda patrols, Garda dog handler units and two helicopters were assisting with the operation.
Paramedic units were also on standby at the scene.
Both the Garda helicopter and the Irish Coast Guard helicopter were deployed to the scene in support.
The Coast Guard helicopter landed on the local Castlemagner GAA field which was used as an operations base.
Tragically, when armed Gardai eventually entered the property, one young man was found with fatal gunshot injuries in a bedroom of the property.
He was the only person found in the house.
A distance away, by an historic old fort surrounded by farmland, Gardai later located the bodies of a man in his 20s and a man in his late 50s.
All three displayed signs of gunshot injuries.
It is understood Gardai recovered a legally held firearm at the scene.
One Garda described the scene as "absolutely heartbreaking - the worst I have ever had to deal with."
The area remains sealed off pending a full examination by Garda Technical Bureau staff.
Detectives have also requested the assistance of the State Pathologist.
Full post mortem examinations will be conducted at Cork University Hospital (CUH) on Tuesday.
Gardaí also began door-to-door inquiries throughout the area to determine if anyone had heard or seen anything unusual in the 24 hours before the horrific incident.
Gardai stressed that they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
Kanturk and Castlemagner locals expressed deep shock at the tragedy in the quiet farming community.
"I can't believe it," Pa Murphy said.
"I saw all the Gardai around the place and the helicopters flying overhead but no one knew what was happening."
"The entire village is shocked that lives were lost.".