Gardaí search for motive in couple's murder-suicide in Carlow B&B
Gardaí investigating the deaths of a couple in a murder-suicide in a B&B have been speaking to their family members in a bid to establish a possible motive for the incident.
Gardaí have named the deceased as 53-year-old John Deegan, Cadamstown, Birr, Co Offaly, and 51-year-old Deirdre Keenan, Carragh Road, Naas, Co Kildare.
Postmortems on both remains have confirmed they died of gunshot wounds. Mr Deegan’s legally held shotgun was found at the scene.
He is believed to have regularly carried the gun in his van, which was parked near the B&B in Carlow town where the couple were found dead at about 1.30pm on Monday.
Gardaí are trying to establish if Mr Deegan’s history of mental health issues might have worsened in recent times.
He shot Ms Keenan in an upstairs bedroom of the B&B on Centaur Street before turning the weapon on himself in the downstairs of the house.
There was nobody else in the property at the time of the double shooting. The owners of the B&B also own a pub across the road from the family-run business.
It was only when a member of the family went to check on the B&B on Monday afternoon that the bodies were discovered. Mr Deegan and Ms Keenan were separated from their respective former partners and had been in a relationship since 2011.
The dead man was a landowner who farmed; he also worked for the Office of Public Works. Ms Keenan was a mother of six. The families of both were said to be very shocked by what had happened.
The couple had been in Carlow since late last week. Gardaí said they had also spent a number of days since last Wednesday in the Wexford area.
While no third-party involvement is suspected in the deaths, gardaí have asked for anyone who may have seen them in Wexford last Wednesday or Thursday, or in Carlow over the weekend to contact them.
They had stayed in another B&B in Carlow for one night before taking a room in the B&B where they were found dead.
Investigations to date have established the couple socialised together in Carlow town on Saturday and Sunday and were seen in the town at 1am on Monday. They then returned to the B&B and died some time later.
The B&B has undergone a forensic examination by members of the Garda Technical Bureau. The gun used has been taken away for examination.