Double-murder investigation begins following deaths of three people in Co Antrim

Police believe man fatally stabbed his mother and his girlfriend before killing himself

The PSNI has launched a double-murder and suspected suicide investigation after the discovery of three bodies in Newtownabby, on the outskirts of north Belfast.

Police suspect that a man fatally stabbed his mother and his girlfriend at separate locations and then killed himself.

The alarm was raised shortly before 11pm on Friday when police received a report of a stabbing at a house in the Derrycool Way area of Newtownabbey.

When officers and an ambulance crew arrived they found a woman who was pronounced dead at the scene, explained Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell.


“As officers carried out further enquiries, they attended a residential property in the Glenville Road area,” he said.

“An unconscious male was located in the property. Despite the provision of first aid, the male was pronounced dead. On searching the property, another deceased female was located,” added Detective Chief Inspector Caldwell.

Police suspect the man murdered both his mother and his girlfriend. “While we have launched a murder investigation, we are not looking for anyone else in connection with these incidents which we believe are connected,” said the officer.

He urged anyone with information about the killings to bring it forward to the police. Alliance Assembly member John Blair said news of the killings was sad and shocking.

"My thoughts and sympathies are with the families concerned in what they are going through at this time," said the South Antrim MLA.

“There is a sense of shock in the wider Newtownabbey community upon hearing this tragic news,” he added.

The Sinn Féin MP for North Belfast John Finucane said the community was in shock at the murder and that his first thoughts were with the “family and friends of the women who were brutally killed last night”.

“These brutal killings highlight once again the need to oppose all violence against women and the need for a violence against women and girls strategy in the North,” he added.

The SDLP deputy mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey council Noreen McClelland said her thoughts and prayers this morning were with the friends and family of the two women who killed.

“This is a close knit community and I know that they will offer every support to those dealing with the pain of losing a loved one in such horrendous circumstances,” she said.

“Once again it appears that two women have lost their lives in a violent attack. How many more women have to die before our Executive takes action to address gender based violence?” added Ms McClelland.

Police have urged anyone with information which may assist the investigation to contact 101 (004428 9065 0222 outside the UK) and quote the reference number 2441 of 19/03/21, or via Crimestoppers (0800 555 111 ).

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty is the former Northern editor of The Irish Times