The three siblings who died following a violent stabbing at a house in Tallaght, Dublin have been named as twin brother and sister Christy and Chelsea Cawley (8) and Lisa Cash (18).
Gardaí are investigating the deaths and one man in his early 20s has been arrested.
Is is understood the boy and a girl (8) and their older sister (18) were stabbed during the violent incident late on Saturday night. The area around the scene remained sealed off on Sunday afternoon as garda conducted house-to-house interviews.
Officers arrived at the home in Rossfield Estate, Tallaght after 12.30am in the early hours of Sunday. The siblings were taken by ambulance to Crumlin hospital where they were pronounced dead.
A teenage boy (14) was taken to Tallaght hospital where he is being treated for serious injuries, which are not believed to be life-threatening. Their mother, a woman in her 40s, has been released from hospital and is being supported by her family, the Garda Press Office said in a statement. It said the family liaison officer continues to keep her updated as to the course of this investigation.
The man in his 20s was arrested using a taser as the Garda Armed Support Unit used less than lethal weapons during his arrest. It is understood the suspect received superficial injuries. The man is being held at Tallaght Garda station under section 4 Criminal Justice Act, 1984 where he can be held for up to 24 hours.
Gardaí say all those involved in the incident are believed to be known to each other and they are not looking for anyone else in relation to it.
An upstairs window of the house on Rossfield Avenue, Brookfield was smashed, apparently during the incident. Garda forensics officers arrived and left the scene though the early afternoon.
A smashed downstairs window also remained open while forensic officers examined the front garden. A black car outside the property was also a focal point of the investigation. Forensic officers removed a number of items from the scene, including a shoe, small bag and black coat which were placed in forensic bags.
Flowers have also been left at the scene. One floral tribute said: “Fly high little angels. Our hearts are broken for you all.” The streets surrounding the property remained busy with children playing nearby
The children’s school issued a statement. It said St Aidan’s S.N.S in Tallaght was “deeply saddened” by the events and “would be providing support to pupils and school staff to help them deal with this tragedy and have requested the support of the National Education Psychological Service”.
Neighbours reported hearing helicopters overhead and “sirens blazing” at about 1am.
Gardaí have set up an incident room at Tallaght Garda station. Postmortems will take place on the bodies on Sunday and Monday by State Pathologist Dr Sally Anne Collis. Gardaí said the “violent, challenging and traumatic incident” was responded to by uniform unarmed Garda first responders from Tallaght District, supported by uniform members and armed detectives and specialist armed support unit members. An Garda Síochána has put in place welfare supports for all members who attended this incident.
The family have lived in the area for many years, said local councillor Teresa Costello at the scene on Sunday. “I don’t know how the community are going to get over this,” she said. “This community would be very tight knit. There’s going to be school tomorrow and kids missing.
“The local Brookfield community centre today will open and give time and space for people to grieve It’s just too much to take in. It’s a whole community that will be affected by this.”
Councillor Charlie O’Connor. also at the scene, said he was “on a personal level so shocked”.
“That reflects how this community is feeling. I was getting calls from early morning before I really knew they details. I came over here, I have been talking to neighbours, talking to the gardai and there is deep shock in this immediate community, but also in this wider community.
“People are asking how this terrible event could have happened. It is going to have a huge effect not only on the neighbours here in Rossfield and Brookfield but in the wider Tallaght area and beyond. It is an event that is going to affect many, many people.
“We have to reach out to the community and support them in any way we can. I am also told that the gardai who attended the scene last night were also deeply shocked and are receiving support. It is a terrible event.”
Councillor Dermot Richardson, who lives locally, and attended the scene on Sunday said: “Everyone in Tallaght is shocked. It is absolutely horrendous. This is a very settled area, people live in the area a long time, everyone knows everyone. The area has its problems but never to this extent. People are just so shocked.”
He also called for people to stop sharing video footage of the incident on WhatsApp and social media sites.
“There are videos being shared on WhatsApp. I would ask people not to share it out of respect for the family and the local community as well,” he added.
“If you have footage, please pass on to the gardai.”
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said it was “a tragedy so awful and heartbreaking it is difficult to comprehend”. - Additional reporting PA