Belfast Telegraph

Garda probes suspicious deaths of elderly couple

By Tom Shiel

The Garda was investigating last night after the bodies of an elderly married couple were discovered in their home.

Retired couple Tom and Kitty Fitzgerald were found dead yesterday afternoon in Knockadoon, just outside the village of Irishtown in Co Mayo.

A man in his 30s was also discovered at the scene with head injuries.

A major Garda investigation is now under way to determine how the couple died, but sources have said they both sustained injuries consistent with an assault.

Tom, who was in his 70s, and his wife Kitty, who was in her 60s, were well-known and well-liked in the local community.

Tom worked as a painting and decorating contractor before he retired and both were described as "community stalwarts" by shocked locals last night.

Ambulance personnel and Garda officers rushed to the couple's bungalow, which is located in a secluded spot about a mile from Irishtown village, shortly after 3pm. However, both pensioners were pronounced dead at the scene.

The Garda was unwilling to comment last night on the exact circumstances of the deaths but did stress: "It's far too early to draw definite conclusions."

Shocked neighbours have described the couple as "generous and community minded".

Joe Reapy, of Davitts GAA Club, said: "Tom had a great spirit when it came to community matters.

"If anything was going on Tom was sure to have a hand in it.

"It's shocking hard to believe this lovely couple are gone," he added.

"I would see them every week. It was always great to meet them."

Parish Priest Fr Martin O'Connor said the community were numbed by the shock.

Fr O'Connor said: "It is the biggest tragedy to have hit the area.

"Both of them were lovely people to meet," he added.

"You always felt better for it if you had a conversation with them."

Belfast Telegraph


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