Wednesday 21 March 2018

Father killed wife, then drove to his death on M1

Gardaí at the Quigleys’ house in Rathmore, Hackballscross, near Dundalk
Gardaí at the Quigleys’ house in Rathmore, Hackballscross, near Dundalk
Emergency services at the scene of the crash on the M1 yesterday

Mark O'Regan and Wayne O'Connor

A father of four killed his wife in a bedroom of their home before taking his own life by ploughing into two other vehicles while driving the wrong way on a motorway, gardaí believe.

A sleepy townland has been left stunned by the apparent murder-suicide that claimed the lives of Marie Quigley and her husband James.

The body of Mrs Quigley (68) was discovered by a family member yesterday afternoon in an upstairs bedroom at the couple's home near Rathmore, Hackballscross, Co Louth.

She is understood to have suffered head injuries.

The grim find was made after gardaí realised that a car registered to that address had been involved in a fatal crash on the M1 some 15 miles away.

Mr Quigley, who was aged in his 60s, was driving the wrong way up the northbound lane when he crashed into another car and a truck.

The driver and two passengers of the other car were hospitalised following the crash.

James was "quite friendly" but was known to have battled with mental health problems for many years.

"He suffered with depression and could get very down in himself. He suffered from terrible nerves," said one local.

It is understood the couple lost a young son in a drowning tragedy more than 20 years ago.

Post-mortem examinations will be carried out today.

Local priest Fr Gerry Campbell said: "It comes as a huge shock to the community and we cannot even begin to imagine what the family are going through at this time.

"All that we can do now as a community is rally around the four children and do what we can to comfort them at this time. The shock and sadness are unbearable," he said.

Irish Independent

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