Gardai became concerned for a dad and his three year old daughter after they were alerted to a note he had written, it has emerged.
Investigators are treating as suspicious the death of the man in his 50s and his little girl in west Cork
The body of the three-year-old girl and the man in his 50s, who is believed to be a local farmer, were discovered outside Ballydehob early this morning.
The lifeless child was found on the strand of an isolated cove just outside the picturesque village located some 30km west of Skibbereen.
The grim discovery was made by gardai after they were called to an isolated farm, shown a letter and then launched a major search operation.
The dead man was later discovered on an island a short distance offshore.
It is believed the child's mother was present when the tragic discovery was made.
No trace of a boat was found nearby to indicate that the deaths were linked to a fishing tragedy.
Gardai immediately sealed off the scene and alerted both the State Pathologist and the Garda Technical Bureau.
Gardai are understood to be treating both deaths as suspicious though they said the nature of their investigation will be determined by the post mortem examination results.
Locals in the area spoke with fondness for the tragic dad today.
“He was a hard working, industrious man who loved his family. No one in the community saw this coming. We are all shocked,” one neighbour source said.
Residents in the area also spoke about the “sheer love” the man had for his child.
“They were often seen out together. He loved the child so much. We are just waking up to this news today and we are
just numbed with shock,” said Goleen council member Ellen Scully.
“This area has never experienced a shock of this scale before. Our hearts are broken for the man’s wife, who is also well known to us.”
It is expected that both bodies will be removed to Cork University Hospital (CUH) for a post mortem later this evening.
Gardai are now trying to confirm the identity of both the man and little girl and have commenced door to door inquiries in the isolated area.
Locals expressed shock at the discovery and prayers were offered for both unnamed deceased at early morning Masses in Ballydehob and Goleen.