'Marian was just talking about Christmas - this is beyond words'
Marian Horgan was eagerly looking forward to Christmas and intended to put up festive decorations next week at the semi-detached home she proudly kept with her husband.
Yesterday, the property at Murmount Avenue in Montenotte, just metres off the Old Youghal Road in Cork, was enclosed in swathes of white Garda forensic tape as detectives tried to piece together the tragic events.
Neighbours in the mature, leafy estate were deeply shocked.
Many awoke to see Garda technical experts clad from head to toe in white protective suits, operating around the beautifully maintained semi-detached property in Murmount Avenue, an estate built in the 1950s and which overlooks parts of Cork city.
The fact that the incident involved a couple who were childhood sweethearts and absolutely devoted to each other made the sense of tragedy all the more palpable.
Virtually everyone in Murmount Avenue knows each other - many having raised their children here and then retired locally. One local described it as a tight knit estate of "empty-nesters".
Marian and Billy Horgan both hail from the greater Dillon's Cross-Mayfield areas. Both had attended local schools. Marian worked as a legal secretary with a Cork city centre firm. But she had also attended University College Cork and was extremely proud of her third-level studies.
Billy was a businessman who was also a lifelong support of Brian Dillons GAA Club. He was also a keen sports fan and well known in the area for the daily walks he took to exercise the family's pet dog.
The couple had three children, two daughters and a son.
One daughter works in Dublin while the other was based in Cork city.
A neighbour, who asked to be unnamed, expressed his shock at the brutal stabbings.
"I was only out for a drink with them last week. Marian was all talk about Christmas and the friends they were planning to meet up with," he said. "I think she really loved Christmas. This whole thing is tragic beyond words."