GARDAI are treating as suspicious the death of a father 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 little girl 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 and 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.
The search was launched after a note was found at the farm in the townland of Foilnamuck.
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.
Both bodies remain at the scene pending the arrival of the State Pathologist.
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.
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.