A father and two adult sons who died in a suspected murder-suicide on an Irish farm have been named as Tadgh O’Sullivan and his children Diarmuid and Mark.
The bodies of the father, 59, and his two sons, aged 22 and 25, were discovered in County Cork on Monday and police say they all suffered gunshot wounds.
Police are not searching for any other suspects and it is thought that the shootings may have been linked to a family dispute over the inheritance of the 150-acre farm.
According to the Irish Independent, one of the sons is thought to have shot his brother before their father tried to intervene, but failed to prevent further fatal shots being fired.
Tadgh O’Sullivan (left) and his children Mark (centre) and Diarmuid (right) were found dead on an Irish farm following a suspected murder-suicide
Neighbours called the police at 6.30am to report that a distraught woman – thought to be the mother and wife of the victims – was saying that gunshots had gone off in her home.
After the alarm was raised, negotiators tried to make contact with anyone still in the property, but found nobody and approached the house at around 1pm.
Inside, they found the first body in a bedroom with gunshot wounds, before an aerial search revealed the other two bodies.
According to the Irish Times, one of the sons is thought to have suffered multiple shots while the others had single gunshot wounds.
‘We need to see the results of the postmortems and the results of ballistic and forensic tests on the two rifles to establish whether they each shot themselves or did they shoot each other or did one person shoot the other and then shoot himself,’ a source said.
A full investigation has been launched, and the state pathologist and the Garda Technical Bureau are to visit both scenes.
The outhouses and barns were searched and the Garda Air Support Unit was called in, as well as the North Cork Divisional Search Team to scour the fields.
Garda superintendent Adrian Gamble said all three men had been shot, adding that nobody else was present at the property.
Gamble said a number of weapons were found at the scene and seized after police were called to the ‘critical firearms incident’.
He added: ‘A short time earlier, a female in her 60s alerted neighbours that a firearm had been discharged at her home.
‘Gardai were then informed that three males were present in the house, and that one may have suffered gunshot wounds.
‘Throughout the course of the morning and early afternoon, Garda negotiators attempted to make contact with people that may have been in the house.
‘Shortly after 1pm, members of the emergency response unit approached the house and sadly, the body of a male in his 20s, with a gunshot wound was discovered in a bedroom. No other people were present.’
Farm buildings at the scene of the fatal shooting at Assolas, near Kanturk, County Cork
The shootings were related to simmering tensions over a will and the inheritance of the 150-acre farm in the remote neighbourhood of Assolas in County Cork, it is believed
Local representatives said the tragedy had left the community ‘numb.’
Fianna Fail councillor Pat Hayes said: ‘It’s a tragedy for the family. Our thoughts, sympathies and prayers go out to them at this very difficult time.
‘It has come as a real shock to the community. We’re a very close knit community here and to be honest with you, every one is just numb.’
Fine Gael councillor John Paul O’Shea said: ‘Everyone is deeply saddened and shocked by this tragedy.
‘My thoughts go out to the family and the wider community of Castlemagner and Kanturk as they come to terms with this unimaginable loss.
‘There is a strong and determined community spirit in Castlemagner and the community there I know will rally around their families, neighbours and friends in the coming days as they deal with this tragic loss.’
Forensic investigations are ongoing, as well as analysis by ballistics experts.
A Garda spokesman added: ‘An Garda Siochana is not looking for any other persons in connection with this incident at this time.’
A police SUV is seen on the farmland in remote County Cork on Monday