Cork shootings: Gardaí find lengthy apparent suicide note on one of the dead men

Investigators are examining whether attack was planned by two of the deceased

Three relatives have died in an apparent murder-suicide on a farm in Kanturk, north Co Cork. The shooting incident has left a father (late 50s) and his two sons (aged in their 20s) dead. Video: Provision


Gardaí investigating a suspected murder-suicide in North Cork which left a father and two sons dead are examining whether the attack may have been planned by two of those involved over a period of some time. This follows the discovery of a lengthy and detailed apparent suicide note on one of the deceased.

Gardaí found the note on the body of Diarmuid O’Sullivan (23) as they investigated the death of his brother, Mark (26), at the family home near Castlemagner on Monday morning and the subsequent deaths of Diarmuid and his father, Tadhg (59) whose bodies were found in a field.

It’s understood the note, which ran to about a dozen pages and was strapped to Diarmuid O’Sullivan’s thigh, suggested that both Diarmuid and his father had been planning to shoot Mark over a grievance that they had regarding a proposed will dividing up the family’s 115-acre farm.

According to informed sources, gardaí are investigating whether Mr O’Sullivan Snr and his son Diarmuid had been planning over a number of days to shoot Mark, who had accompanied his mother to Dublin where she underwent surgery earlier this month for a serious medical condition.


Mark O’Sullivan had sided with his mother while Diarmuid O’Sullivan and their father were united in their opposition to the proposed will, the exact details of which are not clear other than Diarmuid O’Sullivan and his father felt aggrieved over the way the holding was to be divided.

Ms O’Sullivan (60), a nurse, and her son Mark returned to the family home on Sunday night after staying with relatives in Castlemagner for almost two weeks following her discharge from hospital.

Ms O’Sullivan woke around 6.40am on Monday morning to hear gunshots and to discover that Mark had been shot in his bed. She fled the farmhouse, making her way to a neighbour’s house to raise the alarm, prompting a major Garda operation involving over 100 Garda personnel.

Gardaí arrived at the scene around 7.30am and were informed by a neighbour that he had heard two shots some time earlier, and gardaí believe these shots may have been Mr O’Sullivan Snr and his son Diarmuid taking their own lives near a fairy fort some four fields from the house.

It was unclear last night whether or not the note found on Diarmuid O’Sullivan had been written in the 50 minutes or so between the shooting dead of his brother and his death and that of his father, or whether it was prepared before the tragedy unfolded on Monday morning.