Cork deaths: Gardaí considering dispute over land ownership as potential motive

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A dispute over the ownership of a family farm in north Cork is being investigated as a potential motive leading to the deaths of three brothers at Curraghgorm, near Kildorrery on the Mitchelstown/Mallow road.

According to the Irish Examiner, the investigation into the land ownership and farm income is one of many lines of inquiry being followed.

Willie (66) and Patrick Hennessy (60) were both found dead at the family farm early on Friday morning, with gardaí believing an axe to have been involved in their deaths.

A third brother, Johnny Hennessy (59), who lived on the farm, was later found dead in the nearby river Funcheon. He is believed to have died by drowning.

Postmortem examinations are due to be carried out over the weekend to determine the causes of the three deaths which will then determine the course of the investigation.

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Gardaí are also attempting to establish whether any medical or mental health issues contributed to the incident.

According to The Irish Times, this will involve examining the medical records of Johnny Hennessy to determine whether he had experienced any recent mental health issues.

On Friday, gardaí confirmed they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

Sequence of events

The alarm was raised at approximately midnight on Thursday, when Paddy Hennessy's ex-wife and daughter grew concerned when he did not return from Curraghgorm, leading them to visit the farm.

They discovered him with serious head injuries in the yard, a short distance from the farmhouse and contacted local gardaí.

Officers from Mitchelstown and Fermoy attended the scene, supported by members of the armed support units from Cork and Limerick, as they originally thought a firearm may have been involved in the incident.

Gardaí then discovered the body of Willie Hennessy in a shed on the property, having also suffered severe head injuries.

An alert was then put out to determine the location of Johnny Hennessy's red Toyota Corolla van which was missing from the property.

The possibility that he was armed, as was originally thought, was ruled out by gardaí and an axe believed to have been used during the attack was found discarded nearby.

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The van was later found abandoned near St Joseph's Church a short distance away in Killacluig, with the Garda air support unit and Garda dog unit called in to assist in the search for the third brother.

Shortly after midday on Friday, the Garda air support unit spotted a body floating in the nearby river, which upon recovery was identified as Johnny Hennessy.

The remains of the three men were brought to Cork University Hospital where Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margot Bolster will carry-out the postmortems.

If you are impacted by any of the issues raised in this acticle, please contact Pieta House on 1800-247247 or the Samaritans on 116-123.

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