Monday 14 October 2019

Teenage boy finds mum and partner dead in Belfast home

Police land rovers and white tape cordon off an area of Woodside Drive in Poleglass in Dunmurry
Photo by Paul McErlane for the Belfast Telegraph
Police land rovers and white tape cordon off an area of Woodside Drive in Poleglass in Dunmurry Photo by Paul McErlane for the Belfast Telegraph

Brett Campbell

A teenage boy ran out of his west Belfast home screaming after finding his mother lying dead in their house, a neighbour has said.

Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of Catherine (Cathy) Cosgrove and her partner, who is yet to be identified.

It is understood that Ms Cosgrove's 16-year-old son Thomas raised the alarm after making the shocking discovery inside his house on Woodside Drive shortly before 11am.

"He came running out into the street screaming, he was in an awful state," a neighbour said.

"He came down the stairs to find his mummy lying there."

They said another neighbour then went out to assist the teenager before a second body was found in the property.

"They went back inside the house with the poor wee boy and found her partner, he was dead upstairs."

The boy had been off school on study leave.

Another neighbour told Q Radio News: "It's devastating, there are young kids involved, they're a very well-liked family."

Last night one of Cathy's devastated nephews paid tribute to her on social media.

"Heart's broke, love you aunt Cathy," they wrote.

The Ambulance Service said two crews and a rapid response team were dispatched to the address after a 999 call was made. However, both casualties were dead by the time they arrived.

Around half-a-dozen police officers remained at the cordoned-off scene late yesterday afternoon while forensic officers continued to gather evidence. The cul-de-sac remained under police watch overnight.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out today, although toxicology results could take as long as a week.

The principal of St Colm's High School, where Thomas recently completed his GCSEs, confirmed that support measures have been put in place. "We will be offering all necessary support to our pupil," Adrian Walsh said.

"The entire Cosgrove family are in our thoughts and prayers."

It is understood that support and counselling services will also be made available to Thomas' brothers, twins Carlos and Christopher, who are past pupils.

Sinn Féin MLA Órlaithí Flynn said there is "shock and sadness" throughout the community.

"The family and local residents have asked us to appeal on their behalf for everyone to respect their privacy at this devastating time," she added. "There is a sense of shock and sadness in the community.

"We send our sincere condolences to the family at this extremely difficult time."

Many local residents expressed disbelief as they struggled to comprehend the double tragedy.

"She was a really quiet woman, but very friendly," one woman said. "I saw her every time she went to the shop and back. She was quite private, but always said hello."

Another neighbour described the situation as "absolutely tragic". They added: "It's very, very sad, especially for those children."

SDLP councillor Brian Heading said he has no doubt that the community will rally around the Cosgrove family over the difficult days ahead.

"Any death is tragic, but two at once is hard to bear," he said.

"I know that members of this close-knit community will do everything they can to support the family through this awful period."

Belfast Telegraph

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