Monday 20 February 2017

Tragic Mayo couple will be buried together

Robin Schiller

Published 07/11/2016 | 02:30

Flowers left by relatives at the sealed off road in Knockadoon outside Tom and Kitty Fitzgerald's home. Pic Steve Humphreys
Flowers left by relatives at the sealed off road in Knockadoon outside Tom and Kitty Fitzgerald's home. Pic Steve Humphreys

An elderly couple whose bodies were found in a suspected murder/suicide will be buried together following a joint funeral service.

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The remains of Tom and Kitty Fitzgerald were found at around 3pm last Tuesday by a local person who called at the family home in Knockadoon, just outside Irishtown, Co Mayo.

Their son Paul (35), who was discovered on the scene with head injuries, is currently in a critical but stable condition in Beaumont Hospital, Co Dublin.

It is believed that he was restrained by gardaí who initially suspected he was involved in the attack. However, it has since been established that he was a victim in the violent assault.

Friends and family of Tom (75) and Kitty (72) paid tribute at their removal last night.

The community centre where the elderly couple were waked was attended by dozens of people from local community.

Dignified

It is understood that Tom's brother made the journey from the United States for the service, as did Kitty's sister who has been living in North America for the last number of years.

Read more: Deaths in rural Mayo: murder and suicide suspected in deaths of elderly couple

One local said: "If you weren't aware of the tragic circumstances behind the deaths you would think it was any other removal service. Quiet and dignified."

Their funeral Mass will take place at noon today at the Church of the Holy Family and St Oliver, Irishtown, followed by burial in the cemetery.

A post-mortem carried out by State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy was concluded over the weekend, with gardaí stating that they were not looking for anybody else in relation to the violent death.

Gardaí are now treating the discovery of the two bodies as a murder/suicide.

The body of Tom Fitzgerald was found in the farmyard outside the family home, while his wife Kitty was discovered in a pool of blood inside the property.

The Garda Technical Bureau have completed their forensic examination of the scene, and a metal bar covered in blood recovered at the property is currently being examined. It is understood that Paul wasn't living in the family home at the time and had accommodation in Co Galway.

The tragedy has left the whole area of Irishtown in a state of shock.

Read more: 'She was bubbly and vibrant and always brought a smile to all her friends' - Community shocked as bodies of married couple discovered in home

The Irishtown Community Development group, of which Tom was a director, held a members' meeting on Wednesday night in order to come up with a plan for how the community can come together.

Local councillor Richard Finn, who lives nearby, said the whole situation was difficult for anyone to contemplate.

"It's a tragic, tragic situation," he said.

In a statement, gardaí thanked the local community for their assistance and made a further appeal for anyone with information to come forward.

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