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'Words fail' Mourners line street in guard of honour for mum and son killed in Kerry murder-suicide

Hundreds gathered today at the north Kerry village to pay an emotional tribute to the mother and son who were hailed as "hard-working, generous and kind-hearted."

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The coffins of Eileen and Jamie O'Sullivan are carried into St Michael's Church in Lixnaw in North County Kerry. Niall Carson/PA Wire

The coffins of Eileen and Jamie O'Sullivan are carried into St Michael's Church in Lixnaw in North County Kerry. Niall Carson/PA Wire

The coffins of Eileen and Jamie O'Sullivan are carried into St Michael's Church in Lixnaw in North County Kerry. Niall Carson/PA Wire

A shocked Kerry community was warned that "words fail" to explain the horrific double murder-suicide which claimed the lives of mother and son Eileen (56) and Jamie (24) O'Sullivan as well as their partner/father Mossie O'Sullivan (63).

Mr O'Sullivan shot his partner and son in two bedrooms of the family home outside Lixnaw in north Kerry on September 7 before taking his own life in a nearby farmyard.

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The coffins of Eileen and Jamie O’Sullivan are carried into St Michael’s Church in Lixnaw in North Co Kerry (Niall Carson/PA)

The coffins of Eileen and Jamie O’Sullivan are carried into St Michael’s Church in Lixnaw in North Co Kerry (Niall Carson/PA)

The coffins of Eileen and Jamie O’Sullivan are carried into St Michael’s Church in Lixnaw in North Co Kerry (Niall Carson/PA)

A legally held shotgun was later recovered by Gardaí from the scene.

The triple tragedy shocked the community with counselling being offered to friends, neighbours and workmates.

Hundreds gathered today at the north Kerry village to pay an emotional tribute to the mother and son who were hailed as "hard-working, generous and kind-hearted."

Jamie's coffin was covered in the red and green colours of his beloved local GAA club.

A Massey Ferguson tractor and a Toyota 'drift' car were parked outside the church as a tribute to the farming and motorsports-obsessed young man.

His friends drove in a cortege of sports cars past the church before Mass as a special tribute.

The twin funeral cortege arrived at St Michael's Church through an honour guard of locals lining Lixnaw's Main Street.

Fr Anthony O'Sullivan told mourners at the joint Requiem Mass for Eileen and Jamie O'Sullivan that the entire community was left reeling from the tragedy.

“We communicate through words. Words we use to express what we think, what we believe, what we feel. But there are times words fail us in expressing the depth of our feelings, whether of joy and happiness or, on the other side, sadness and sorrow," he said.

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“That is how we feel these recent days here with the tragic deaths of Eileen, Jamie and Mossie.

“Words seem inadequate to comprehend this tragic loss of life. We come today to pay our respects and to pray for Eileen and Jamie and to pray for you, their loved ones, to give you strength and every hope."

Fr O'Sullivan said locals had painted a heart-warming picture of the mother and son who were devoted to their family and their community.

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The coffins of Eileen and Jamie O’Sullivan are carried into St Michael’s Church in Lixnaw in Co Kerry (Niall Carson/PA)

The coffins of Eileen and Jamie O’Sullivan are carried into St Michael’s Church in Lixnaw in Co Kerry (Niall Carson/PA)

The coffins of Eileen and Jamie O’Sullivan are carried into St Michael’s Church in Lixnaw in Co Kerry (Niall Carson/PA)

“We give God thanks for Eileen and Jamie and for the gifts that God gave them. They were kind, gentle and went about their lives with dignity.

“Eileen was a diligent worker. Jamie was a skilled welder."

Both had been valued members of the local community - with Jamie particularly devoted to sport and the GAA.

“God is with us in our happy days and also in our dark days. The Lord experienced that sense of aloneness in Gethsemane, when he asked that the chalice or offering pass him by.

“Also on The Cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? But God had not forsaken him.

“God does not forsake us in our suffering but journeys with us as he does with the O’Sullivan family. May the Lord be with you in your grief and bring Eileen and Jamie and Mossie safely home.”

The Offertory Gifts reflected the passions of Eileen and Jamie O'Sullivan's lives.

Mourners included their aunts/sisters Mary O'Sullivan and Margaret Reilly, brothers-in-law Sean Reilley and John Cronin, uncles/brothers Jim and John O'Sullivan, cousins Catherine Houlihan, Christopher and Timothy Houlihan, Lee J and Danny Reilly, John, Mike, Denise and Noreen O'Sullivan.

The family had asked that, instead of flowers, people consider making a donation to the Irish Heart Foundation.

Neighbours, friends and colleagues paid special tributes with hundreds lining the route as the funeral cortege left Lixnaw - many wearing special yellow and black armbands.

Jamie O'Sullivan played hurling with local GAA club, Crotta O'Neills.

The young man had recently secured a job with an industrial firm in Killarney.

Crotta O’Neills Hurling Club paid tributes to the young man describing him as "a gentleman to his fingertips".

“He was a lovely lad and a model student. He was a good hurler, so I invited him to come and play with Crotta,” Crotta coach Jerome O’Sullivan said.

Gardaí are investigating whether mental health may have been a key factor in the triple tragedy.

They have been left baffled by a motive for the shootings with no suicide note recovered, no hint of any financial problems and every indication it was a happy family unit.

Mr O'Sullivan's private funeral took place last week.

He was buried at Kiltomey some 11km from where his wife and son will be interred together at Kilfeighney Cemetery.

Mr O'Sullivan's health records are being examined amid indications he may have been acting strangely in the days before the shootings.

Detectives believe Mr O’Sullivan shot his son dead as he slept in his bedroom before moving down the hallway to kill his partner Eileen.

He then left the house and went to a nearby farmyard where he took his own life.

Gardaí recovered a legally held shotgun at the scene.

The grim discovery was made when a neighbour was concerned at being unable to contact the family and called to the family home on Tuesday evening (September 7).

Helplines: If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, click here for more information

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