Gardaí in Co Kerry have begun a criminal investigation into a fatal firearms incident at a domestic residence near Lixnaw, where the bodies of three family members were discovered last night.

The three people whose bodies were found have been named locally as 56-year-old Eileen O'Sullivan, her 63-year-old partner Mossie O'Sullivan and their 24-year-old son Jamie O’Sullivan.

Gardaí have described them as a very well-regarded, private family.

In a statement, gardaí in Listowel confirmed that they received a call from a member of the public, who was concerned for the residents of a home in Kilfeighney, Lixnaw, at around 8.30pm yesterday.

Local uniform and plain clothes gardaí attended the scene.

The body of a Eileen O'Sullivan and her son Jamie O'Sullivan were discovered in the house. Both bodies appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds.

In a follow-up search of the outdoor site, the body of Mossie O'Sullivan was discovered at the boundary of the rear yard, also with gunshot wounds.

A firearm was recovered close to his body.

Gardaí preserved the scene overnight and this afternoon, the Garda Technical Bureau started a forensic examination, which is ongoing.

Dr Margot Bolster, Locum Assistant State Pathologist, has also attended the scene.

The bodies of all three people have been removed to University Hospital Kerry, where post-mortem examinations will take place.

Gardaí added that the result of the post-mortems will determine the course of the investigation, but preliminary findings are that all three people died as a result of the gunshot wounds.

There is no known motive at this stage for what is being treated as a double murder and a suicide.

Gardaí are not looking for anyone else in relation to the investigation.

There were a number of callers to the house yesterday throughout the day, but no reply was received.

Mossie was a former bus and truck driver who also farmed and kept sheep.

He and Eileen would be regarded as native to the area with extended family throughout north Kerry.

Their son Jamie worked with agricultural contractors in the vicinity.

A family liaison officer has been appointed to the extended families of the deceased.

Gardaí said they are conscious of the severe impact this incident has on the tight-knit community in Kerry, and are appealing to the community or any other people who may have any information to contact gardaí at Listowel Garda Station.

Minister for Education Norma Foley described the deaths as an "unimaginable tragedy" that has visited profound sadness on a family and local community.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, the Kerry TD said she wanted to express her "very sincere sympathy to the family and the community".

Minister Foley described the townland of Lixnaw as a "tight knit community" where incredible support would be provided to those impacted by the deaths.


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