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Cork murder-suicide: Gardai received call before tragedy


Gardai at the scene near Kilacluig, close to Michelstown

Gardai at the scene near Kilacluig, close to Michelstown


Gardai at the scene near Kilacluig, close to Michelstown

The Republic's policing watchdog is to review a Cork double axe murder and suicide after it emerged at least one of the three brothers involved had contact with gardai in the hours before the horrific triple tragedy.

The contact - in the form of a phone call on Thursday evening - involved the brothers assuring Mitchelstown Garda that a disagreement was being resolved amicably and there was no need for uniformed officers to attend the 25-acre family farm at Corragorm, some 8km from the north Cork town.

Following the conversation, gardai were satisfied that concerns brought to their attention by another individual did not warrant sending a patrol car to the property.

It is understood that at no stage were fears raised with gardai that any brother was under threat or that there was any suggestion of violence being involved in the family disagreement.

However, several hours later, the bodies of Willie (66) and Paddy 'Pa' Hennessy (60) were discovered at the farm after a relative called to ensure everything was all right amid concern that Pa had not returned to his Mitchelstown home.

The body of a third brother, 59-year-old Johnny Hennessy, was later recovered from a nearby river.

A Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) spokesperson confirmed they are now reviewing the matter.

"GSOC received a referral on Friday from a Garda Superintendent related to possible contact between An Garda Siochana and one of the deceased prior to the incident," they said.

"The referral was made under Section 102 of the Garda Siochana Act, 2005.

"The matter is now under examination by GSOC."

Pa was found with severe head injuries in the farmyard where the brothers operated a firewood business and raised cattle.

Willie was found with similar severe head injuries in a nearby shed. Both men had suffered horrific trauma injuries to the head consistent with blows from a heavy axe.

The body of the youngest brother, Johnny - who lived at the farmhouse - was recovered from the River Funshion at lunchtime on Friday.

For operational reasons, gardai have declined to disclose the results of post-mortem examinations conducted on the three Hennessy brothers at Cork University Hospital (CUH) by Locum State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster.

A blood-stained axe was found a short distance from where the first two bodies were discovered at Corragorm last Thursday night, some 8km outside Mitchelstown.

Gardai now fear the tragedy was linked to a farm income dispute.

They are investigating whether Johnny may have been overwrought from financial stress, rural isolation and the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Mental health issues are also being investigated.

Belfast Telegraph

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