Three members of family die in suspected murder-suicide in Co Kerry

Bodies of husband, wife and son discovered in Lixnaw on Tuesday evening

Gardaí have begun an investigation into what they believe is a double homicide and suicide following the discovery of the bodies of three members of one family in north Kerry on Tuesday night.

The body of a woman was found in a house at Ballyreehan, Lixnaw on Tuesday evening when a neighbour called shortly after 9pm. They raised the alarm and gardaí discovered the body of the woman's son, aged in his 20s, also in the house. Both had been shot.

Gardaí began a search of the area and found the body of the woman’s husband in a field, where they also found a shotgun. It is believed that the man shot his wife and son before taking his own life but gardaí stress their investigation is still at a very early stage.

The husband and wife were in their early 60s.


The scene was cordoned off and preserved and gardaí have requested the services of the State Pathologist Office. It is expected that the bodies will remain at the scene overnight before they are examined in situ on Wednesday by a pathologist.

Garda ballistic experts are also expected to examine the gun recovered at the scene and checks will be carried out to see if it was legally held. Door-to-door inquiries will be carried out to try to establish when the three people were last seen alive.

An incident room will be set up in Listowel Garda station under Supt Paul Kennedy, who is heading up the investigation. It is expected that the full resources of the Kerry Garda Division will be deployed to assist with the investigation.

Gardaí said they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident.

Acting Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys decscribed the incident as “truly awful tragedy”.

She tweeted: “The shock and devastation being felt by the family and the community is unimaginable. An Garda Síochána is engaging with the local community and will carry out a full investigation.”

If you are affected by any issue in this article, please contact Pieta House on 1800 247 247 or the Samaritans by telephoning 116 123 (free) or by emailing

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times