DETECTIVES were today hunting a cold blooded killer who shot a young couple in front of a baby.
Des Kelly (23) and his 28-year-old girlfriend Breda Waters were each shot once in the head.
A six-month-old baby was in the house at the time.
Both were gunned down with a shotgun and Ms Waters’ body was found in her bed with massive wounds to her face.
Kelly was a well known criminal and a suspect for shootings himself. He killed a teenage girl in a sickening joyriding incident.
The couple – dating just weeks – were found at a house in O’Malley Park, Limerick at 11.30am yesterday. A party had taken place there in the hours before the killings.
A woman, related to Kelly, stayed overnight with her young child and may have vital information.
It is suspected that a shotgun was used in the killings, but a thorough examination of the scene will not take place until after the bodies are removed later today.
State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy was due to arrive at the scene at 531 Castle Oaks View later today to conduct postmortem examinations.
But a forensic examination of the house will be vital to establishing what happened.
Officers from Roxboro Road station in Limerick said they are keeping an open mind on the cause of death.
No link to organised crime is suspected, but Kelly was well known to gardai in Limerick. He drove a BMW car which knocked down and killed 17- year-old pedestrian Tanya Nunan in the city in 2002.
The bodies of Des Kelly and Breda Waters remained at the house this morning. Ms Waters was found dead upstairs in a bed. She suffered a gun wound, at close range, to the head.
Kelly’s body was found downstairs near the back door of the terraced home. He is a well known criminal in Limerick who was released from prison recently. A single shotgun cartridge was found on the stairs. There were no signs of a breakin or struggle.
The alarm was raised by a neighbour shortly before 11.30am after they entered the property.
It is understood that Breda Waters and another woman made their way to the Southill home on Saturday.
The woman and another man left the house following a party around 2am on Sunday while Des Kelly and Breda Waters remained. A relative of Kelly’s and her six-month-old child also stayed overnight.
Gardai are attempting to interview all who were at the house on Saturday night/Sunday morning.
Kelly has three children from a previous relationship. A younger brother of Kelly’s who was at the scene yesterday was visibly upset and was consoled by neighbours.
The daughter of John and Patricia, Breda Waters came from a large family in the St Mary’s Park area of the city. She lived at St Munchin’s Court and had three young children.
The Parish Priest of Southill, Fr Pat Hogan, who lives across the road from the scene of the two deaths, described the incident as a “double tragedy”.
“It is shocking, we are just after finding out about it, but it is absolutely shocking,” Fr Hogan said.
“It is the beginning of a New Year and it is the worst kind of start to any New Year. No mother needs to hear this or no brother needs to hear this.”
“I don’t know the circumstances, the lead up to it. I was here all night last night. I was what, 100 yards from the house, and I didn’t hear anything or see anything. I don’t know what happened, but it is absolutely depressing,” he said.
Fr Hogan called on all who may have information to co-operate and assist gardai in their investigations. “It is also very depressing that this is not the first family member of this family to die. I knew other family members, brothers of this man who are dead.
“I know one of the other brothers very well. They were very nice and very decent. This is terrible. Whatever happened here is absolutely shocking,” Fr Hogan said.