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Wednesday 21 March 2018

How the tragedy unfolded

3.30am A 999 call was received by the Eastern Regional Control Centre, who alerted the fire brigade in Bagenalstown and Carlow town. Five units attended, manned by 22 firefighters and officers.

4am Firefighters battle the blaze in three farm sheds in the grounds of Ballycormac House on outskirts of Bagenalstown. They released livestock housed in one shed including horses and cattle. Some of the animals died in the inferno. A second building contained hay, while a third had machinery stored inside.

7am The body of bachelor and well-known local farmer George Rothwell is found inside his home. He had been shot. Gardai notify Deputy State Pathologist Michael Curtis.

9am The body of Mr Rothwell's brother-in-law Michael Jordan, who lives in the neighbouring farm, is discovered in a building on his property. His wife, and Mr Rothwell's sister, Hilda, had noticed her husband was missing that morning. No foul play is suspected by gardai, who believe Mr Jordan took his own life by hanging. Family members and clergy rally around Mrs Rothwell, who has lost her husband and brother. She is brought to her first cousin's home nearby where callers sympathise throughout the day.

12.45pm A garda crime scene investigation team arrives at Ballycormac House to conduct a forensic examination.

Irish Independent

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