Man in fatal Louth crash suspected of killing wife

Gardaí believe man who drove wrong way down M1 was taking own life after murder


Gardaí believe a man who was killed when he drove his car the wrong way down a motorway was taking his own life after murdering his wife.

The couple were named locally as James and Marie Quigley, aged 70 and 69 respectively, from Rathmore, Hackballscross, Co Louth. They have a number of adult children.

Ms Quigley was found dead at the family’s home at about 3.45pm yesterday.

The discovery was made less than two hours after the fatal crash that claimed the life of her husband on the M1 northbound carriageway between junction 14 and 15 near Ardee.

Mr Quigley’s car collided with another car and truck as he drove the wrong way down the motorway. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The people travelling in the car he collided with suffered injuries and were taken to hospital. They were still undergoing treatment last night.

The section of motorway where the fatal collision has re-opened after closures last night as Garda crash scene investigators examined the area.

The vehicles involved were taken away for technical examination and Mr Quigley’s body was removed from the scene and taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, where a post-mortem was expected to be carried out today.

When Ms Quigley’s body was found at the family home, the property was sealed off by gardaí. The body remained at the scene pending the arrival of a pathologist to carry out a preliminary examination.

When that was completed, the body was due to be removed for a post-mortem. Garda sources said the exact cause of death would not be established until that examination had been carried out.

However, the same sources said there were visible injuries on the body, including a number of head wounds.

The investigation is now trying to establish if the woman was bludgeoned to death.

Gardaí last night said while the investigation was still in its early stages, it was being treated as a murder-suicide. Mr Quigley is the only suspect at this stage.

If that proves to be the case, the Garda will prepare files for the dead couple’s inquests.

The family home was last night being searched and undergoing an examination by the Garda Technical Bureau.

That work was expected to continue for at least another day as the investigation team from Ardee and Hackballscross try to establish if the couple’s deaths are a case of murder-suicide and, if so, what motivation lay behind the chain of events.