Woman who survived Kanturk murder suicide dies following long illness

Anne O’Sullivan’s husband and two sons died in October

Gardaí at the scene of the shootings at Assolas, near Kanturk in north Cork. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

Gardaí at the scene of the shootings at Assolas, near Kanturk in north Cork. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision


A woman whose husband and two sons died in a murder-suicide incident in north Cork has died following a long illness.

Anne O’Sullivan (61) from Raheen in Kanturk died on Wednesday morning some six months after the murder of her son, Mark (26) by her husband, Tadg (59) and her younger son, Diarmuid (23).

Fianna Fáil councillor Bernard Moynihan said she was in the thoughts and prayers of locals.

“She was a very young woman. The community are thinking of the family. There is a lot of solidarity. It is a very rural community. A very united community. It is very sad.

“People are still reflecting on what happened. Our thoughts are prayers are with the family at the moment.”

Ms O’Sullivan’s Requiem Mass, on Friday at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Kanturk at 1.30pm, will be live-streamed to allow the wider community pay their respects.

Her family thanked the public for their “understanding and co operation at this difficult time”, with mourners asked to donate to Cliona’s Foundation for Sick Children in lieu of flowers.

Ms O’Sullivan was at the isolated farmhouse on the morning of October 26th last when Tadg and Diarmuid shot Mark in his bedroom in a row over a will leaving him the 115-acre farm.

Ms O’Sullivan fled the scene but Tadg and Diarmuid caught up with her in the farm yard and told her she would have to live with the torment of what had happened.

Ms O’Sullivan had been discharged from hospital just two weeks earlier after surgery for a terminal medical condition.

She managed to raise the alarm just after 7am on October 26th, telling the neighbours her husband and Diarmuid had shot Mark, prompting a major garda operation involving armed gardaí from Cork and Dublin.

Gardaí surrounded the house initially thinking they might be facing a hostage situation and knowing there were firearms registered to the O’Sullivans before entering the property after midday.

Mark’s body was recovered from a bedroom, having been shot up to seven times while the bodies of Tadg and Diarmuid were found in a field, each with single gunshot wounds to the head.

Gardaí said that they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident and were treating it as a murder suicide and would prepare a file on the matter for the coroner’s court.

Ms O’Sullivan later attended the funerals of Tadg and Diarmuid who were buried together in St Brigid’s cemetery in Castlemagner following a joint funeral at St Mary’s Church in Castlemagner.

A day later she attended a separate funeral for Mark at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Kanturk. Mark was buried in Ms O’Sullivan’s own Cronin family grave in another cemetery.

Ms O’Sullivan, a former nurse, had not returned to live at the farmhouse where the tragedy unfolded but had been staying with cousins who lived nearby in Castlemagner.

Meanwhile, she received hundreds of messages of condolence from all over the country in the wake of the tragedy.

Condolences books were set up for Diarmuid, Mark and Tadg O’Sullivan. Along with messages from friends and neighbours complete strangers expressed their horror at what had occurred to the family.

One woman wrote on RIP.ie: “Dear Anne, I wish I could get under that cross and help you carry it.

“I pray that God will give you the shoulders to bear it. The whole country is praying for you and crying for you.

“I pray you will get through this by remembering the lovely memories of your husband and talented boys.”