An inquest has heard that a farmer shot his friend and then killed himself.

The bodies of John Deegan, 53, and Deirdre Keenan, 51, were found at a bed and breakfast in Carlow town in February last year.

Post mortem examinations found both died from single gunshot wounds to the head.

A jury at the inquest into their deaths in Carlow today returned a verdict of unlawful killing in the case of Ms Keenan and death by suicide in the case of Mr Deegan.

Ms Keenan, a mother of six, was found upstairs in a bedroom at the Stonehaven B&B at Centaur Street in Carlow town.

Mr Deegan was found dead, sitting in an armchair downstairs with a gun between his legs.

Gardaí established he was the legal owner of the shotgun.

The bodies were discovered by John Clerkin, the owner of the B&B, who said there did not seem to be any problems with the couple the night before when they were in his pub.

In a statement read out at the inquest, Mary Ann Deegan Molloy, a sister of Mr Deegan, said her brother had been suffering from depression for a year before the shooting.

She said what happened was very out of character and she could not believe that Mr Deegan had taken his life and that of Deirdre.

The couple had separated from their spouses and were living together in Co Offaly.

They had been on a break to Wexford and Carlow, staying in B&Bs, when the incident happened.