Postmortems due on bodies of father and son found at Donegal house

Gardaí treating incident in Letterkenny as murder-suicide and seeking witnesses

Gardaí are treating the deaths of a father and son in Co Donegal as a murder-suicide.

A 50-year-old man is believed to have killed his 88-year-old father in his home on the outskirts of Letterkenny.

The son was named locally as Damien Duffy and the father as Daniel Duffy.

The older man was found inside the house at Windyhall while his son was found in a car in a garage at the rear of the property.

The causes of death are still unclear.

Garda sources said the current “working theory” was that the deaths were the result of a murder-suicide. No one else is being sought in connection with the deaths, although gardaí in Letterkenny hope anyone with information that might assist their investigations will come forward.

Shock

News of the deaths caused shock in the local community, where the family was well-known and respected.

Local county councillor Gerry McMonagle appealed for anyone with any information to contact gardaí.

“It’s an awful, tragic incident, all the more so when it’s father and son and we are just two days away from Christmas,” he said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all the extended family at this time.”

The older man had worked in a public utilities company for a number of years.

His son, who worked for the same company for a period, was interested in computers and often worked in a self-contained flat at the back of the family home.

A neighbour called to the house around 2pm on Thursday and discovered the bodies. Gardaí were contacted and they sealed off the area.

The older man had not been seen for around a week, it is believed. Gardaí are trying to determine when he died.

‘Engaging’

Both deceased men were described as “extremely intelligent and engaging” by neighbours, one of whom added that the father “idolised” his son.

One neighbour said: “[They] were two of the finest people, hard-working, highly intelligent, creative and very entertaining. This is incomprehensible. I am devastated and will miss them terribly.”

The men lived together and the older man’s wife died some years ago.

The scene has been preserved and both bodies have been removed to Letterkenny University Hospital where postmortems are being carried out by the State Pathologist. The results of these will determine the course of the investigation, gardaí said.

A Christmas wreath hung from the front door of the bungalow while a Christmas tree was visible in the garage window at the rear of the house.