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Tragedy hits Lisnaskea family for second time in a year as father and son found dead at home

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 17/06/2015

The scene in Lisnaskea where a father and son were found dead yesterday morning
The scene in Lisnaskea where a father and son were found dead yesterday morning

A father and son have been found dead - a year after a third member of their family was brutally murdered overseas.

A relative discovered the bodies of John and Holden McNally in their terraced house in Lisnaskea on Monday night.

It is understood she gained entry to the property at St Patrick's Terrace after becoming concerned for the men's welfare.

Police are awaiting the results of post mortems to establish how the pair died.

The double tragedy has caused widespread shock in the Co Fermanagh town.

Neighbours said the men were well known but led reclusive lives.

John, who was also known as Johnny, was a pensioner. His son is thought to have been aged in his 30s.

Their deaths come just a year after the family was rocked by tragedy when another of Mr McNally's children was found dead abroad.

Lorna Boyle was found dead in a flat in the Amepolkipoi area of the Greek capital Athens, where she had lived for a number of years.

Her remains had lain undiscovered for 20 days. Her boyfriend was later arrested on suspicion of murder.

Yesterday, neighbours spoke of their shock at the latest tragedy to rock the family.

"In the last couple of years they had become reclusive - they never really left the house," said one.

"Mr McNally's wife went into a home and you wouldn't have seen much of them other than the walk up the street to the off-licence.

"It was a sad sight to see the two of them about the town."

According to neighbours, the men were found by John McNally's daughter.

"The daughter tried to access the house last night but the front door was locked," one said.

"She got in through the back door and found them."

He said the cause of their deaths was a mystery.

"Nobody will know what happened there - at least not in the immediate future," he added.

Another said both men had battled problems with alcohol in recent times.

"Before John got really bad he used to come to me and nab me for the odd tenner," one neighbour said.

"The last few times I said no. He wasn't looking after himself and he didn't need me making the situation any worse.

"But whatever the circumstances of it, it's a sad tragedy for the town."

Forensic experts examined the house yesterday morning as police tried to piece together the men's final hours.

A police car was parked across the road while two officers stood outside the home, situated in a row of about 10 terraced houses.

A businessman, who lived close by, said the town had been left shocked and numbed by the tragedy.

"People are numb with shock - they can't believe it," he said.

Lisnaskea parish priest Fr Joseph Mullin also spoke of the shock caused by what he described as a "profound tragedy".

"We have seen our share of tragedy over the years and this is the latest family that needs to be shouldered and supported by the community," he said.

"The community will do that. They will stand shoulder to shoulder with the family."

Fermanagh-South Tyrone MP Tom Elliott also spoke of his sadness.

"My thoughts are with the family of these men," he said.

"They have been thrown into tragedy. It is a really difficult time for the family and community."

Erne East councillor Richie McPhillips extended his sympathies.

"The community is very much in shock at this news," he said.

"I would very much like to express my condolences to the family."

A PSNI spokesman said: "Police in Fermanagh are investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of two men whose bodies were discovered at a house at St Patrick's Terrace on Monday, June 15.

"A post mortem examination and formal identification will take place in due course."

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