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Thursday 22 February 2018

Case evokes memories of previous tragedies

Martin McCarthy and wife Rebecca and baby Clarissa
Martin McCarthy and wife Rebecca and baby Clarissa
The tragic Dunne family photographed in April 2005

Fiona Ellis

THE Chada tragedy is not the first time children in Ireland have died at the hands of a parent.

Q MARCH 2013

The Cork community of Ballydehob was left devastated after a local well-known farmer drowned himself and his young daughter.

Martin McCarthy (50) drowned his daughter Clarissa (3) in the sea just a few hundred yards away from the family home at an inlet called Audley Cove. Mr McCarthy, who was 24 years older than his American-born wife Rebecca, then drowned himself.


Zoe (6) and Ella Butler (2) were killed by their father John Butler (41), who later doused himself in petrol and crashed his car into a ditch. He had been treated for depression over the past year. The family was from Ballycotton, Co Cork.

Q APRIL 2008

On April 26, 2008, successful Wexford businessman Diarmuid Flood shot his wife Lorraine, a former Rose of Tralee contestant. He then smothered his two children, Mark (6) and Julie (5), before setting fire to their detached home and then shooting himself in the head.

Q APRIL 2007

Adrian (29) and Ciara Dunne (26), from Monageer, Co Wexford, were found dead in their home on April 23, 2007, along with their two daughters, Leanne (5) and Shania (3), below.

Mr Flood was found hanged, his wife Ciara was strangled, and their two girls were smothered. The couple had met with an undertaker just days before their bodies were found and specified that if all four died at the same time, they were to be buried together.

Q APRIL 2005

Sharon Grace had tried to seek out a social worker in the lead up to her death.

The 28-year-old woman drowned herself and her two daughters, Mikhala (4) and Abby (3), at Kaat's Strand in Wexford town.


Kilkenny man Stephen Byrne drove his two sons, Alan (10) and Shane (6), and himself off a pier in Duncannon. All three died.

His wife, Maeve (35), was found dead from stab wounds at the family home in Cuffsgrange, Co Kilkenny.

Irish Independent

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