Three children under the age of ten have been found dead in a house in county Dublin.
The children’s mother has been taken to hospital.
A note is believed to have been found at the house when gardai called there shortly after 7pm.
Gardai went to the house at Parson’s Court in Newcastle after receiving a telephone call.
When officers arrived at the scene, they discovered a woman walking around outside the house.
The woman, who is in her 40s, was said to have looked dazed and disorientated.
Inside the house officers found the bodies of the three children, two boys and a girl.
The woman was taken to Tallaght hospital where she is being treated tonight.
The cause of the children’s deaths is not immediately known but gardai said they do not believe that they died from natural causes.
Gardai said they are not looking for any other person in relation to the deaths at this time and said there is no sign that the house had been burgled.
A post mortem examination on the three bodies will be held to determine the cause of death.
The area around the home at Parson’s Court, a mixed complex of houses and apartments, has been sealed off by gardai, pending an examination by technical experts.
Shocked neighbours huddled outside their doorways in the housing estate, stunned by the devastating news.
A neighbour who parks her car directly in front of the house where the bodies were found said she doesn't know the family other than to exchange pleasantries.
"Looking at them they're a lovely family'", she told Independent.ie.
She said she came home around 6:45pm and saw a woman slumped over on the road, with a taxi parked beside her.
"She looked like she was after collapsing," she said.
"I saw that woman there and I thought she was knocked over'," she said.
Around ten minutes later an ambulance from the Dublin Fire Brigade took her away, she said.
She said the estate is normally very quiet.
Local resident Austin Cooney (47) anxiously stood outside the large garda perimeter that cordoned off the housing estate.
Mr Cooney, who has three children himself aged ten and younger, said the news was simply horrific.
"It's horrible. It's devastating that three little kids lost their lives this way."
Gardai officially said that they are investigating the circumstances of the children’s “unexplained” deaths.
They asked for anybody with information about the tragic incident to contact Clondalkin garda station at 01 6667600 where an incident room has been established or the confidential line, 1800 666111.