Gardaí contacted one of brothers before Cork murder-suicide

Gsoc to review garda involvement after deaths of Hennessy siblings outside Mitchelstown

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) has confirmed it will review a murder-suicide incident in north Cork after it emerged that one of the three brothers who died had been in contact with gardaí earlier in the day.

Senior Garda management have referred the matter to Gsoc after it emerged that gardaí rang one of the Hennessy brothers at their home at Curraghgorm near Mitchelstown after they were contacted by a concerned relative on Thursday evening.

It is understood gardaí from Mitchelstown then made contact with one of the brothers by phone and they were assured everything was okay so gardaí did not call to the farm.

The bodies of brothers Willie (66) and Paddy Hennessy (60) were later found with severe head injuries at the family home at Curraghgorm while the body of the suspected killer, their younger brother Johnny (59), was recovered from the river Funcheon on Friday.

Gsoc on Sunday confirmed it received a referral on Friday from a Garda Superintendent related to possible contact between gardaí and one of the deceased prior to the incident and the matter is now under examination.

According to section 102 of the Garda Síochána Act, “the Garda Commissioner shall refer to the Ombudsman Commission any matter that appears to the Garda Commissioner to indicate that the conduct of a member of An Garda Síochána may have resulted in the death or serious harm to a person.”

Meanwhile, a Garda investigation into the incident is continuing and gardaí have received the results of postmortems on all three men.

Gardaí have said that they will not be releasing the results of the postmortems for operational reasons but it is understood the postmortems confirmed that Willie and Paddy Hennessy died from shock and haemorrhage associated with lacerations and trauma from head injuries.

The postmortem found that both men's injuries were consistent with assault with an axe which gardaí found near Willie Hennessy's body in a timbering shed while a postmortem on Johnny Hennessy confirmed that he had drowned.

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Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times