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Neighbours grieve for devoted mother Seema Banu and her two young children in Ballinteer estate

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Neighbours hold a vigil for Seema Banu (37), her daughter Affira (11) and six-year-old son, Fazan, at Lewellyn Estate, Ballinteer, south Dublin. Photo: Mark Condren

Neighbours hold a vigil for Seema Banu (37), her daughter Affira (11) and six-year-old son, Fazan, at Lewellyn Estate, Ballinteer, south Dublin. Photo: Mark Condren

Neighbours hold a vigil for Seema Banu (37), her daughter Affira (11) and six-year-old son, Fazan, at Lewellyn Estate, Ballinteer, south Dublin. Photo: Mark Condren

A candlelit vigil was held last night in Ballinteer to remember a devoted mother and her two children, found dead in their home.

Around 100 residents from the Llewelyn estate in Ballinteer, south Dublin, gathered together, clasping candles in memory of Seema Banu, 37, her daughter, Affira, 11 and six-year-old son, Fazan.

The family seemed to have been virtual strangers to the residents, having moved from Bangalore, India, eight months ago and maintaining a very private life.

But memories were shared of a devoted mother who spent her every living moment with her children, a little boy who was shy and yearned to play with children and a young girl who skipped down the street.

One neighbour described the mum as nice, but said the family weren’t seen too often

“My son played with the little boy in August,” the neighbour said.

"They played football in front of the house. He was very quiet, timid and shy. He didn’t talk much. Maybe he didn’t speak English.

“The little boy would stand on the corner, wanting to play with others but he didn’t.

“The little girl was tall. She would skip happily down the street sometimes. She didn’t look like she had a worry in the world.”

One resident said she hadn’t seen Seema or the children leave the house for a number of days.

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She broke down and cried when she heard gardai had found the family dead.

Another neighbour said: “It seems they didn’t interact and I just wish I had tried to speak to her. I feel so sad knowing I didn’t get the chance. I really regret that now.”

Children clutched their candles and their parents placed them down at a tree, a temporary shrine for the family.

One neighbour placed flowers near the house where the gardai stood.

Family friend Muhammed Mazher told the Irish Independent: “They rented this house in February and it was all good news.

“I got a call this morning from a woman who said she came to the house and couldn’t get any answer.”

Muhammed said he told the woman Seema may have been shopping but around an hour later he heard the horrific news the family were dead.

“A garda told me it was a bad situation inside, it’s not good news and something terrible had happened,” Muhammed said.

“I’m so upset. The kids were really nice and I can’t stop thinking about them,” he added.


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