Tuesday 21 October 2014

Garda investigation underway after two brothers (9 & 21) found dead

Ken Foy and Caroline Crawford

Published 21/07/2014 | 08:52

A 21-year-old man is believed to have fatally stabbed his nine-year-old brother before taking his own life.

Gardai are treating a tragic incident in which a 21-year-old man stabbed his nine-year-old brother to death before taking his own life as a murder-suicide.

Detectives are not looking for any other suspect in the incident, which occurred in a family home near Tubbercurry, Co Sligo yesterday evening.

A senior source said that Shane Skeffington fatally stabbed his little brother Brandon at the house which is located in the parish of Tourlestrane.


After attacking his younger brother, Shane then took his own life in a shed.

Shane Skeffington (top right) with younger brother Brandon Skeffington (bottom left)
Parents Shane Skeffington Snr and Carmel Healy Skeffington
The scene of the tragedy in Sligo. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
The scene of the tragedy in Sligo. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Sources said that the brothers’ parents made the horrific discovery of Brandon’s lifeless body at the top of the stairs in their home shortly before 8pm yesterday. He had stab wounds.

The parents had left the property at around 4pm and it is believed that the murder happened shortly after this.

After discovering Brandon’s body, his dad then found his oldest son Shane’s body in a shed, shortly before gardai arrived at the scene.

A garda spokesman said: “A nine-year-old boy was found in the house with stab wounds. He was removed from the scene by Air Ambulance and taken to Sligo Regional Hospital and was pronounced dead a short time later.

“A 21-year-old man was found deceased in an outside shed at the same location.”

The house was sealed off today as gardai conducted a technical examination of the tragic scene.


A local source said that the brothers’ parents, Shane senior and Carmel, are highly respected members of the local community.

It is understood that they have two other children – a three-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl.

It is not known if the other children were in the house at the time of the murder.

“Shane and Carmel are really lovely people and they built that house around 15 years ago.

“They are originally from Tubbercurry and Shane has worked in the building trade for his entire life. God knows how they will ever get over this,” the local source said.

Local Fianna Fail councillor Jerry Lundy responded to the tragedy by saying: “Everyone I’ve been speaking to in the community is shocked, horrified and saddened.”

Cllr. Lundy told the Herald: “My heartfelt sympathies go to the family and the whole community is very upset about this. It is an absolutely terrible tragedy.”

Meanwhile, post-mortems are due to take place on the bodies of the two brothers at Sligo Regional Hospital.

According to a report published last August, at least one case of murder-suicide occurs every year – in the past 13 years 46 people lost their lives due to the phenomenon.

Irish Independent

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