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A MAN who shot dead his Dublin-born wife and disabled daughter before turning the gun on himself left a note apologising for his crimes.

Spanish Police believe Philip Wood (56) gunned down his wheelchair-bound wife Sheila (54) and daughter Sophie (27) before covering their bodies with a sheet in their rented Costa del Sol villa.

Officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs were today attempting to contact any relations of the Irish mother, who has been confirmed as being from Dublin.

It is not yet established where in Dublin Sheila is from.

Sources today confirmed that Philip Wood, a former bank investor from the UK, left a written confession apologising for his crimes.

It's understood that the note explains that the family had fallen on hard financial times and that Wood was struggling to care for his Irish-born daughter, who suffered from Down Syndrome.

After shooting his family, Wood shot himself with the same gun in the lounge of their €400,000 apartment, located close to the Cala de Midis resort.

The apartment is a short distance from the Spanish family home of missing Irish teenager Amy Fitzpatrick.

The bodies of Ms Wood and her daughter were discovered covered by a sheet in their bedrooms.

Police are working on the theory that the deaths were a murder-suicide and said there was no sign of any struggle.

Autopsies were due to take place this morning in nearby Malaga. Police have been interviewing neighbours – some of whom claimed they had heard gunshots last week.

Their bodies were discovered by the landlord of the property and it's believed they may have lain there for several days.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs told the Herald that officials were today trying to locate the Irish-based family of the victims.

However this has proven difficult as the Woods had been living in Spain for 10 years.

"We are liaising with both the Spanish and British authorities and are attempting to contact their next of kin," a spokesman said today.

Neighbours claimed former bank worker Mr Wood had fallen on hard times financially and was struggling to cope with looking after his wife and daughter.

It is believed that debt collectors had visited the property last week and that Mr Wood had recently lost his job.

A Malaga-based government spokesman said: "The bodies of three people with bullet wounds have been found at a house near La Cala de Mijas.

"They are the bodies of a married couple and their daughter.

"One of the hypotheses being probed is that it was a double murder and suicide but autopsies will be carried out today to establish more."