Bodies of mother and two children removed from south Dublin house
Gardaí are in contact with husband as investigation into circumstances of deaths continues
People at a candlelit vigil in the Llewellyn estate in Ballinteer, south Dublin, following the discovery of bodies of a woman and two young children. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Gardaí at the house in the Llewellyn estate, Ballinteer, south Dublin, where the bodies of a mother and two young children were found on Wednesday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The scene in the Llewellyn estate in Ballinteer, south Dublin, has been sealed off. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The dead woman was married and lived at the property in Ballinteer with her two children, a boy and a girl. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Gardaí are investigating the deaths of a 37-year-old woman and her two children at a house in south Dublin.
The house at Llewellyn Court in Ballinteer, where gardaí believe the bodies of the woman and children, a boy aged six and a girl aged 11, may have lain undiscovered for some time, has been sealed off.
They also said they have established contact with the woman’s husband, who is the children’s father, and he is speaking to the investigating team.
Garda sources said a full postmortem was required before the cause of death was established conclusively. However, gardaí have committed all of the resources of a murder investigation to all three deaths and informed sources said foul play was very strongly suspected.
The woman and her husband had lived at the house for some time and were not originally from Ireland but had long settled in the Republic.
Garda Headquarters took the unusual step of issuing a statement urging people to desist from making comments about the case on social media.
“Investigating gardaí are aware of comments circulating on some social media platforms,” the statement said.
“These comments are uninformed and unhelpful to the criminal investigation. An Garda Síochána appeals to members of the public not to circulate this social media speculation.”
Neighbours became concerned for the welfare of the woman and her children late on Wednesday morning and they went to investigate at the semi-detached house in an estate close to Marlay Park.
When the neighbours were unable to contact the woman and their calls to the house were not answered, the Garda was contacted.
Garda members, including armed officers, forced their way into the property early on Wednesday afternoon and found the woman and her children dead.
It is understood the children were found in a bedroom and that the woman’s remains were also discovered upstairs in the property.
The woman had been the victim of an alleged assault by a person known to her in recent months, though it was not clear if that was in any way connected to her death.
The Office of the State Pathologist was informed, and the three bodies were still at the scene on Wednesday afternoon where they were expected to undergo a preliminary examination by a pathologist.
Members of the Garda Technical Bureau were due at the house.
An ambulance arrived at the house on Wednesday evening to remove the bodies.
Later, on the main green area on the estate, off Llewellyn Lawn, about 200 people held a vigil for the woman and her children.
They gathered around a recently installed park bench before leaving their candles under the largest tree on the park on the first real winter’s night of the season.
It was a makeshift and impromptu memorial by a Dublin community struggling to make sense of what had just happened in their midst.
Mary Byrne of the local residents’ association said she and the others present had come because they felt they needed to be together to remember the family.
“We didn’t know them very well, they were private people. And we’ve put this bench here lately because we have so many new people in the estate,” she said.
Asked how people were feeling after what had happened, she said the estate was in disbelief and shock about what had happened.
“We just said we have to be here together for them. There is a lot of emotion, it’s just very sad,” she said.
Earlier, Supt Paul Reidy of Blackrock Garda station briefly spoke to the media at the scene to say the three deaths were being treated as “unexplained” at present.
He declined to say if anyone else was being sought in connection with the deaths, adding the results of the postmortems would determine what direction the investigation followed.
“Gardaí got a call here this afternoon where we discovered three fatalities, an adult female and two children aged 11 and six years of age,” he confirmed.
“We immediately commenced an investigation and we called on the services of the State Pathologist and a full technical examination is being conducted at the moment.
“The scene is being preserved. We’re treating the deaths as unexplained at the moment and the results of the postmortems which will be carried out will determine the course of our investigation.”