Belfast Telegraph

Couple die in home stabbings

A husband and wife have died and one of their daughters has been left fighting for her life in a multiple stabbing at the family home.

Gardai said the couple, named locally as physiotherapist Michael Greaney, 63, and his wife Valerie, aged in her 60s, were found in their house in Cobh, Co Cork by a second daughter.

It is understood the mother was found in the hallway of the home with a stab wound to her chest and died shortly after being discovered.

The tragic deaths are being treated as an apparent murder-suicide.

Mr Greaney, a well-known businessman who also worked as the gardener in the Bishop of Cloyne's palace in the town, was found in an upstairs bedroom with wounds believed to have been self-inflicted.

Gardai said one of the couple's daughters, Michelle, aged 21, also suffered a stab wound to the chest.

She was found being treated by a neighbour on the street outside the family home on O'Neill's Place opposite the local cemetery when emergency services arrived on the scene.

Her 16-year-old sister is understood to have raised the alarm when she got to the house at about 3.30pm in the afternoon.

The older sister was treated on the street outside and rushed to Cork University Hospital for emergency surgery to injuries initially said to be life-threatening.

Her condition was later described as critical but stable.

The Greaney family are a well known family in Cobh and the husband and wife ran a physiotherapy clinic in the town since the late 1990s.

Mr Greaney was a keen rower in his youth and won three All-Ireland medals competing in coastal races.

It is understood he had been receiving medical care in the last year following an incident in the family home but had remained working in the business.

The incident is believed to have occurred in the family home some time around 3pm in the afternoon.

The scene was sealed off pending a full Garda technical examination and the office of the State Pathologist was also notified.

Detectives appealed for witnesses to any disturbance at the house to contact Cobh Garda station, the Garda confidential line or any other Garda station.

If the suspicion of murder-suicide is confirmed in this case, it will be the latest in a series of similar incidents in Ireland over the last year.

In September, twin boys Thomas and Patrick O'Driscoll, aged nine, were found dead in their home on the edge of Charleville, north Cork following a murder-suicide involving an older sibling.

Within an hour of the discovery their older sibling Jonathan, in his early 20s, was found dead about 15km away in a wooded area by a river just outside the town of Buttevant.

Elsewhere, two brothers died at their home in rural Sligo in late July - nine-year-old Brandon Skeffington was found with stab wounds in the family home at Banada, Tourlestrane near Tubbercurry, before the body of his elder brother Shane junior, 21, was found in a shed beside the property.

At the time it was the first murder-suicide to occur in Ireland for more than a year.

A study examining 19 similar incidents of murder-suicide over a 13-year period from January 2001 to the end of June last year found that on average one murder-suicide incident happens per year and 46 people died in the period under review.

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