Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland relatives of double child murder accused tell of shock

By CHRIS KILPATRICK

The Northern Ireland family of two children found dead in the boot of their father's car have been traumatised by the deaths.

The bodies of Eoghan Chada (10) and his younger brother Ruairi (5) were discovered in the boot of their father's wrecked Ford Focus following a massive search for the missing boys.

It is believed the boys were suffocated or strangled but gardai have yet to release details.

Detectives are interviewing the boys' father Sanjeev Chada (43), who was found injured at the scene near Westport, Co Mayo, with a makeshift noose around his neck.

It has emerged Mr Chada was born in Northern Ireland and most of his family, including his brother Keshev, lives here.

They were present at the children's Co Carlow home on Monday when police informed their mother Kathleen her sons' bodies had been found.

Family members said Keshev, who lives in Newcastle, Co Down, was "traumatised" by the tragedy.

The PSNI were given details of the investigation and relatives in the Republic made frantic calls to family across the border to ascertain whether Mr Chada and the children were with them.

A cousin said: "I would like to say something, to speak for him, but it is hard to speak for someone until you know the underlying circumstances.

"The Chada family in Northern Ireland is very close-knit and quite well respected. This sort of stuff just doesn't happen in our family."

Keshev Chada was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Sanjeev Chada's great-uncle KT Chada, who lives in Portadown, Co Armagh, said: "The family would have lived in mid-Ulster. His grandfather had a business selling drapery. It was a door-to-door business."

He said Sanjeev's father died five years ago, but his mother is still living in London.

Mr Chada's grandfather, Champi Chada, emigrated to the Magherafelt area from the Indian province of Punjab during the 1960s.

The family set up a drapery business and according to relatives Sanjeev was born in the area and went to primary school there.

However, it is understood his parents, Kamal and Bimla, moved to London more than three decades ago.

Sanjeev moved to Co Kilkenny after he met his wife and worked for a bank before leaving to become an IT consultant, working largely from home.

Friends of Mr Chada said he was actively involved in community activities in Ballinkillen where the family lived.

A keen golfer, he was a member of Ballinkillen Golf Society. Both Ruairi and Eoghan were members of a local hurling club.

Mr Chada was arrested by police yesterday after being discharged from hospital.

STORY SO FAR

The boys disappeared after leaving the family home in Ballinkillen, Bagenalstown, in Co Carlow, on Sunday night. They were the subject of a nationwide search amid fears that Mr Chada had abducted them after telling his wife, nurse Kathleen Chada, that he would take them bowling.

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