THE father of murdered brothers Eoghan and Ruairi Chada has admitted he strangled his sons to death.
Sanjeev Chada, who was arrested by detectives yesterday, is understood to have "fallen apart" while being questioned and confessed to what he had done.
It has also emerged that the boys were killed at Ballintubber Abbey, not far from Westport, Co Mayo.
A senior source told the Irish Independent: "He has not offered any kind of excuse for what happened . . . Mr Chada has admitted that he is responsible for the deaths of his sons."
The bodies of Eoghan (10) and Ruairi (5) were discovered in the boot of Mr Chada's crashed car, four miles from Westport, on Monday.
Last night the two boys were on their final journey home, carried by a hearse together in a single white coffin.
Evidence has emerged that Eoghan struggled desperately with his father before he was killed, but gardai would not divulge the extent of the injuries suffered by him or his younger sibling.
Mr Chada, whose period of detention at Westport garda station was extended last night, was being "very co-operative" and gardai were satisfied with progress in the investigation so far, a source said.
It is understood that while officers have obtained a full admission from the 43-year-old, they still have to put various items of evidence to the father as part of the interview process.
The boys' funeral will take place tomorrow and their mother, Mr Chada's wife Kathleen, is relieved to be bringing the bodies home, according to close friends.
Earlier, the family broke their silence, with Kathleen's mother, Patsy Murphy, contacting a local radio station to thank the community for its support during their grief.
"All I can say is thank you all for your support at this traumatic time," she said in a brief text message.
The boys went missing with Mr Chada after leaving the family home in Ballinkillen, near Bagenalstown, on Sunday evening.
Gardai also confirmed that they knew the route taken by Mr Chada to Westport after he left the Co Carlow village.
It is understood that he slept in the car with his two boys overnight in the Castlebar area, before they were murdered.
Eoghan and Ruairi were strangled to death around six hours before the car crash happened at 3.25pm on Monday.
Mr Chada, who was wearing his safety belt, had a noose wrapped around his neck when motorists came to his aid after ploughing into a wall.
A new crime scene is being opened at Ballintubber Abbey, where the boys were killed.
Mr Chada was arrested at 12.30pm yesterday after being discharged from Castlebar hospital, where he was treated for superficial injuries sustained in the crash.
Medics also assessed whether he was in a fit mental state to be interviewed. He left the hospital via the back entrance in a wheelchair and was immediately arrested by three detectives. He was taken to Westport garda station where he remained overnight.
He is being questioned under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 and can be held for 24 hours.
The bodies of the young brothers were released from Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar yesterday afternoon.
Relatives of the children who drove to Mayo earlier in the week accompanied the children home to Ballinkillen, and the devastated community awaiting them.
The remains received a garda escort from the hospital. Superintendent David Taylor said gardai were anxious to assist the family in any way possible.
"We want to give them every courtesy possible to speed up their sad journey back home," he added.
Gardai said they were building up a picture of what happened in the 21 hours from when they were last seen in Carlow until the gruesome find was made outside Westport on Monday afternoon.
They had received a huge amount of calls from the public about their journey with Mr Chada in the family's green Ford Focus car.