Gardaí believe axe involved in murder of brothers on Cork farm

Gardaí Believe Axe Involved In Murder Of Brothers On Cork Farm
Officers have confirmed they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident. Photo: PA Images.
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Gardaí investigating a suspected murder-suicide involving three brothers on a farm in north Cork believe that at least two were attacked with an axe.

The bodies of Paddy Hennessy, 60, and Willie Hennessy, 66, were found at the farm in a rural area outside Mitchelstown last night.

The discovery prompted a large scale Garda operation in search for the third brother, 59-year-old Johnny Hennessy, on Friday.

Officers have confirmed they are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident, after a third body was recovered from a river on Friday afternoon.

The Irish Times reports the third brother is the registered owner of the farm where the other two bodies were found with serious head injuries.

Gardaí initially believed that the men had been shot, however, it is now believed that they were both attacked with an axe.

Difficult scene


It is understood the family come from a farming background and are well known in the area.

Speaking to the media outside Mitchelstown Garda Station, Garda superintendent Liam Geraghty said that no firearms were involved in the incident.

He appealed to anyone who may have information about the interaction of the people involved to contact gardaí.

“Any information that [people] may have, even if they think it’s not relevant, please contact us. We will decide whether it’s relevant to our investigation or not,” he said.

Mr Geraghty described it as a “difficult scene”, adding that counselling services have been provided for gardaí who attended the area.

“We know the identity of all three bodies and are not looking for anyone else,” he said.

Officers were first alerted to the incident at about midnight, when they received a call from a woman who told them her father had been killed at his family’s farm at Curraghgorm, about ten kilometres outside of Mitchelstown.

Superintendent Liam Geraghty speaks to the media outside Mitchelstown Garda Station. Photo: PA Images.

Gardaí requested the services of the Armed Support Unit (ASU), believing that one or more of the men on the property may have been armed with a gun.

A cordon was established around the farm, which is down a boreen, off the N73 between Mitchelstown and Mallow.


The body of the first brother was found by members of the ASU in the farmyard, while the body of the second was discovered in a barn.

The discovery prompted a large scale Garda operation in search for the third brother earlier on Friday. More than 50 officers from various Garda units were involved in the search.

Gardaí also issued an appeal for information on a Red Toyota Corolla carvan, 03 WW 1556. It was later found on Friday morning, parked at an unconnected farmhouse at Killacluig, Mitchelstown.

Shortly after midday on Friday, a Garda helicopter spotted a body floating in the River Funcheon.

The Garda Water Unit retrieved the body, believed to be the third brother, which is being taken to Cork University Hospital for a postmortem.

A Garda helicopter flies over the area near Kilacluig, close to Michelstown. Photo: PA Images.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster has carried out a preliminary examination of the bodies of the two brothers.

Garda technical experts have also begun examining the red Toyota Corolla van belonging to one of the murdered men which was taken by the other brother when he left the scene.

Third body found near where brothers were killed o...
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Neither of the brothers whose bodies were first discovered have titles to the farm property, though one of the men lived at the farm while the other lived with his partner in Co Tipperary but frequently returned to visit the family home.

The incident comes just five months after an incident in Castlemagner near Kanturk in north Cork, where a man and his son shot themselves after shooting another son in a row over who would inherit the 115-acre farm.

— Additional reporting by Press Association.

If you are affected by any issue in this article, please contact Pieta House on 1800-247247 or the Samaritans by telephoning 116123 (free), or emailing [email protected]

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