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Triple tragedy Murdered Paddy and Willie Hennessy will be laid to rest today in separate plot to brother John

Another brother Jer died by suicide in 2014, with sister Breda now the only surviving sibling

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Murder victim Paddy Hennessy (pictured) will be laid to rest today, alongside his brother Willie. Both men will be buried next to Paddy’s son, Paudie, who died by suicide in 2012. Photo: RIP.ie

Murder victim Paddy Hennessy (pictured) will be laid to rest today, alongside his brother Willie. Both men will be buried next to Paddy’s son, Paudie, who died by suicide in 2012. Photo: RIP.ie

Murder victim Paddy Hennessy (pictured) will be laid to rest today, alongside his brother Willie. Both men will be buried next to Paddy’s son, Paudie, who died by suicide in 2012. Photo: RIP.ie

Breda Hennessy, the only remaining sibling in a family destroyed by tragedy, slipped quietly out of the church.

A small-set woman, with a soft white hat and a surgical mask concealing her face, she took each step with a shaky fragility that evoked an immense inner grief.

Her brother John, the man believed to have killed their two other siblings, Willie and Paddy, was about to be brought to his final resting place.

In nearby Brigown cemetery, he would join another brother, Jer, who died by suicide in 2014. Jer, like John, had been pulled from the Funshion River after taking his own life.

Four brothers, four deaths. One sister left behind.

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The remains of John Hennessy are removed for burial following his funeral in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

The remains of John Hennessy are removed for burial following his funeral in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

The remains of John Hennessy are removed for burial following his funeral in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision


Details of yesterday’s funeral had been kept strictly private, with many locals unaware it was taking place.

Breda, who lives in nearby Angelsboro, was joined by her husband Ned and daughter Lisa as the service got under way at noon. Paddy Hennessy’s daughter Elaine and her partner were also present, alongside several other family members.

Numbers inside the Church of Our Lady Conceived Without Sin in Mitchelstown were restricted to ten, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The service lasted just over 30 minutes, with three neighbours standing outside to pay their respects as the hearse was taken to Brigown cemetery.

There, around 30 people had gathered as prayers were said over the coffin and condolences exchanged before the crowd dispersed.

Two solemn wreaths, one from the McCarthy family and the other from Ballygiblin handball club, where all three brothers played, were placed on the freshly-turned soil.

Today, in a separate plot in the same cemetery, Paddy and Willie Hennessy will be laid to rest after a private funeral mass. The brothers will be buried next to Paddy’s son Paudie, who died by suicide in 2012.

In a funeral notice, John is described as the “Beloved son of the late Thomas and Eily (McCarthy) and brother of the late Jerry.”

He will be “remembered by his sister Breda (O’Reilly, Anglesboro), brother-in-law Ned, nieces Elaine & Lisa, grandnephews Jack, Danny, Logan & Caleb, grandniece Halle, relatives, neighbours and friends.”

Paddy is described as the “Beloved father of Elaine and the late Paudie and devoted grandad to Jack, Danny, Logan & Halle.”

He will be “Deeply mourned by his daughter, her mother Stephanie, Paddy’s partner Kitty Russell, grandchildren, mother-in-law May Devonshire, sister Breda (O’Reilly, Anglesboro), brother-in-law Ned, niece Lisa, grandnephew Caleb, relatives, neighbours and friends.”

In a notice for Willie, he is described as the “Beloved son of the late Thomas and Eily (nee McCarthy) and brother of the late Jerry. Deeply mourned by his loving sister Breda (O’Reilly, Anglesboro), brother-in-law Ned, nieces Elaine & Lisa, grandnephews Jack, Danny, Logan & Caleb grandniece Halle, relatives, neighbours and friends.”

Gardaí believe Johnny Hennessy may have killed his brothers by 6pm on Thursday before driving away from the farm in his Toyota Carolla van at about 10pm to Killacluig. His body was recovered from the River Funcheon at about 1.30pm on Friday.

Post-mortem examinations were conducted on the men at Cork University Hospital. The results were not released. However, it is understood that Willie and Paddy Hennessy died of injuries consistent with an assault with an axe.

They suffered shock and haemorrhage associated with trauma from head injuries.

If you have been affected by this story, you can contact Samaritans on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie

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