Murder-suicide probe after man kills wife before driving head-on into border traffic
A father-of-four killed his wife in a bedroom before ploughing into two other vehicles while driving the wrong way on a motorway, police believe.
A sleepy townland near the border was stunned by the apparent murder-suicide that claimed the lives of Marie Quigley and her husband James.
Mrs Quigley's body was discovered by a family member yesterday afternoon in an upstairs bedroom at the couple's home near Rathmore, Hackballscross, Co Louth.
Gardai realised that a car registered to that address was involved in a serious collision on the M1 some 15 miles away. They confirmed that Mr Quigley died when his car collided with two other vehicles, including a truck.
The deceased was driving the wrong way up the northbound lane at the time. Three other people were hospitalised.
Mrs Quigley (68) worked with Beagans Customs in Dundalk. The wider Quigley family are involved in oil distribution.
James, or Jim as he was known locally, was also in his 60s and known to have battled with mental health problems for many years.
"He suffered with depression and could get very down in himself. He suffered from terrible nerves," one local said.
It is understood the couple lost a young son in a drowning tragedy more than 20 years ago.
Another neighbour added: "The woman was a lovely, sweet woman. She would stop her car to give you a lift if she saw you walking on the street."
Fr Gerry Campbell said: "It comes as a huge shock to the community and we cannot even begin to imagine what the family are going through at this time.
Post mortems will be carried out today.