Police in the Republic were last night attempting to establish whether a third party was involved in the violent deaths of a young man and woman who died from gunshot wounds.
The bodies of Des Kelly (23) and Breda Waters (28) were found in a house in Southill, Co Limerick, yesterday. Both had suffered gunshot wounds to the head.
While no gun was found, gardai are attempting to establish whether another person was involved in the shootings or if the weapon may have been moved.
State pathologist professor Marie Cassidy is due to arrive at the scene today to conduct post-mortem examinations.
Officers hope this will help them establish the causes of death. The bodies remained at the house last night.
Ms Waters was found dead upstairs in a bed. She suffered a close-range gunshot wound to the head.
Mr Kelly's body was found downstairs near the back door of the terraced home. He was a well-known criminal in Limerick who was released from prison recently. A single shotgun cartridge was found on the stairs.
There were no signs of a break-in or struggle at the property. The alarm was raised by a neighbour shortly before 11.30am.
It is understood that Ms Waters and another woman made their way to the Southill home on Saturday.
The woman and another man left the house following a party around 2am yesterday while Kelly and Ms Waters remained there.
A relative of Kelly's and her six-month-old child also stayed overnight at the home.
Gardai are attempting to interview everyone who was at the house on Saturday night or yesterday morning.
Kelly previously served a four-year sentence after he drove a stolen BMW which knocked down and killed Tanya Nunan (15) in Limerick in 2002. He was also convicted for a number of robberies and violent assaults.
Kelly has three children from a previous relationship and Ms Waters has three young children.
Parish Priest of Southill, Fr Pat Hogan, who lives across the road from the scene of the two deaths, described it as a “double tragedy”.
“It is shocking, we are just after finding out about it, but it is absolutely shocking,” Fr Hogan said.
“It is the beginning of a new year and it is the worst kind of start to any new year. No mother needs to hear this or no brother needs to hear this.
“I don't know the circumstances — the lead-up to it. I was here all night last night. I was what, 100 yards from the house, and I didn't hear anything or see anything,” he said.