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Post-mortem examinations due after father and two sons die in ‘murder-suicide’

The bodies of Tadgh O’Sullivan and his sons Mark and Diarmuid were found on their family farm near Kanturk, Co Cork on Monday.

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Gardai at the scene in Assolas, Kanturk, north-east Co Cork (Niall Carson/PA)

Gardai at the scene in Assolas, Kanturk, north-east Co Cork (Niall Carson/PA)

Gardai at the scene in Assolas, Kanturk, north-east Co Cork (Niall Carson/PA)

Post-mortem examinations on the bodies of a father and his two sons who died in what is being treated as a suspected murder-suicide are due to be completed.

The bodies of Tadgh O’Sullivan and his sons Mark and Diarmuid were found on their family farm in Assolas, Kanturk, north-east Co Cork on Monday.

All three had suffered gunshot wounds.

The bodies of the three men were taken to Cork University Hospital on Monday evening after the state pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster attended the scene.

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Tadgh O’Sullivan, who was found dead along with two sons, Diarmuid and Mark, at a property at Assolas, Kanturk, Co Cork in the north-east of the county, in what is being treated as a suspected murder suicide (Family/An Garda Siochana/PA)

Tadgh O’Sullivan, who was found dead along with two sons, Diarmuid and Mark, at a property at Assolas, Kanturk, Co Cork in the north-east of the county, in what is being treated as a suspected murder suicide (Family/An Garda Siochana/PA)

Tadgh O’Sullivan, who was found dead along with two sons, Diarmuid and Mark, at a property at Assolas, Kanturk, Co Cork in the north-east of the county, in what is being treated as a suspected murder suicide (Family/An Garda Siochana/PA)

The home was sealed off on Tuesday to allow gardai conduct a technical examination of the house and the adjoining land.

Gardai were alerted to a “critical firearms incident” at around 6.30am on Monday after the wife and mother of the deceased men Ann O’Sullivan raised the alarm that firearms may have been discharged at her home.

They were informed that three men were present in the house, and that one may have suffered from gunshot wounds.

The Garda initiated their critical firearms incident response, and negotiators attempted to make contact with anyone in the property during the morning.

Officers from the emergency response unit, armed support unit, national negotiator unit, technical support unit (Garda Headquarters), southern region dog unit and air support unit were involved.

Shortly after 1pm gardai approached the house where they found the body of one of the brothers in a bedroom at the home.

The bodies of his brother and father were later found on adjoining land after an aerial search.

A number of firearms were found at the scene and seized.

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Mark O’Sullivan, who was found dead along with his brother Diarmuid and his father Tadgh O’Sullivan, at a property at Assolas, Kanturk, Co Cork in the north-east of the county, in what is being treated as a suspected murder suicide (Family/An Garda Siochana/PA)

Mark O’Sullivan, who was found dead along with his brother Diarmuid and his father Tadgh O’Sullivan, at a property at Assolas, Kanturk, Co Cork in the north-east of the county, in what is being treated as a suspected murder suicide (Family/An Garda Siochana/PA)

Mark O’Sullivan, who was found dead along with his brother Diarmuid and his father Tadgh O’Sullivan, at a property at Assolas, Kanturk, Co Cork in the north-east of the county, in what is being treated as a suspected murder suicide (Family/An Garda Siochana/PA)

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Gardai indicated on Monday that they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident.

One line of inquiry being pursued is that the deaths could be related to an inheritance dispute.

The tragedy has left the north Cork community shocked and saddened.

Fr John Magner said the people of Castlemagner parish were “numbed, stunned, devastated” by the deaths.

He met Mrs O’Sullivan after attending the scene and praying for the three men.

Fr Magner said the wife and mother was “absolutely devastated” and that he prayed with her for the strength to cope with her “immense loss”.

“You cannot put words into how she felt,” he told RTE’s News At One.

Fr Magner added it was also devastating for family and friends.

“To find that friends they have are just gone, departing this world so early in life,” he said.

“It’s awful for families too when people pass away very young. It’s very tough on people. It’s very difficult for younger people to understand why all these things happen,” Fr Magner added.

Diarmuid O’Sullivan had concluded his studies at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) in June and was due to be conferred next week with a first-class honours degree in accounting.

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Diarmuid O’Sullivan, who was found dead along with his brother Mark and his father Tadgh O’Sullivan, at a property at Assolas, Kanturk, Co Cork in the north-east of the county, in what is being treated as a suspected murder suicide (Family/An Garda Siochana/PA)

Diarmuid O’Sullivan, who was found dead along with his brother Mark and his father Tadgh O’Sullivan, at a property at Assolas, Kanturk, Co Cork in the north-east of the county, in what is being treated as a suspected murder suicide (Family/An Garda Siochana/PA)

Diarmuid O’Sullivan, who was found dead along with his brother Mark and his father Tadgh O’Sullivan, at a property at Assolas, Kanturk, Co Cork in the north-east of the county, in what is being treated as a suspected murder suicide (Family/An Garda Siochana/PA)

CIT head of student affairs Dr Dan Collins said the entire CIT community was in shock as news of the tragic deaths unfolded on Monday.

He said: “There are no words anyone can say to express how people are feeling.

“This tragedy is heart-breaking, and we extend our thoughts and sympathy to his mother, Ann.

“We also keep in our thoughts, and prayers, his brother Mark and his father Tadgh.

“We are mindful at this time of his friends, classmates, and staff of the department of accounting and information systems, as well as the extended family and neighbours.”

Dr Collins said that staff described Diarmuid as a young man with promise, who was a hard worker, respected, and held in high regard by staff and students alike.

Paul Gallagher, assistant public relations officer of Castlemagner GAA club, where the brothers used to play at a young age, extended his deepest sympathies to Ann O’Sullivan and her extended family on behalf of the club.

Mr Gallagher said it was a “close-knit” community and the family were “very well liked”.

“Normally we’re used to hearing these stories, or watch them on the TV rather than seeing them outside your window,” he told RTE’s Morning Ireland programme.

He said the community would rally around Mrs O’Sullivan to try to help her through this time, but he said Covid-19 restrictions were making it more difficult.

Local Fianna Fail councillor Pat Hayes said it was a tragedy for the family and said his thoughts, sympathies and prayers go out to them at this very difficult time.

“It has come as a real shock to the community,” he said.

Fine Gael councillor John Paul O’Shea said everyone was “deeply saddened and shocked” by the tragedy.

An appeal has been made for any witnesses to contact investigating gardai at Mallow Garda Station on 022 31450, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

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