Tuesday 24 April 2018

Day of horror as four children murdered

Nightmare for families as seven dead

John Butler killed his children then himself
Una Butler with her daughter Ella
Sarah Hines was found dead at home

Ralph Riegel and Barry Duggan

IT was a nightmare for two families yesterday after four children were murdered and three adults died in a bizarre and tragic series of events.

In Cork, crazed father John Butler apparently strangled his two young children, Ella (2) and Zoe (7), and then died in a fireball after deliberately crashing his car into a tree.

Mother Una Butler, a Revenue Commissioners official in Cork city, was at work when gardai called to break the horrific news.

Just hours later, the bodies of a boy, Reece (3); a girl, Amy (five months); their mother, Sarah Hines (25); and another woman, Alicia Brough (20), were found in a house in Newcastle West, Co Limerick.

All four had apparently been stabbed to death in a completely separate attack.

A man (31) was later arrested in a pub in the Co Clare town of Killkee and was last night being held at Henry Street garda station in Limerick.

The tragedies shocked the communities in Ballycotton, Co Cork, and Newcastle West where neighbours expressed shock and sorrow last night.

As State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy arrived in Cork, it emerged that John Butler had stopped at a petrol station to buy fuel before deliberately crashing his car into a tree.

In Newcastle West, gardai found the bodies of the children upstairs and the adults downstairs. They made the discovery at about 1.50pm yesterday.

Irish Independent

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