'I've just done a very bad thing,' killer tells stunned neighbours
Neighbours were hailed as heroes for successfully disarming a knife-wielding young man after a frenzied attack left his mother dead and father with serious stab injuries.
The 25-year-old son of Marian (60) and William 'Billy' (67) Horgan was arrested at the scene at Murmount Avenue, Montenotte in Cork shortly after 8am.
A group of neighbours, one of whom armed himself with a hurley, ran to the aid of Mr Horgan after his son Paul walked out of the house in a very agitated state with traces of blood on his clothing.
Paul told one shocked local: "I've just done a very bad thing."
Neighbours became concerned when the young man got very distressed and resisted being questioned about what was wrong.
Three men, one armed with a hurley, eventually had to physically restrain the young man by sitting on him while another local went into the house to investigate what was wrong.
Mrs Horgan was found lying critically injured in a pool of blood while her husband was bleeding profusely from a head wound. He was desperately trying to help his wife.
One man who witnessed the scene was so upset he ran out of the house and got ill.
A local who helped Mr Horgan said they were advised not to comment on the tragedy.
"I've nothing to say. I'll do my talking to the gardai," he said.
Another relative of Mr Horgan declined to comment, saying the family was "too upset to say anything".
Despite the prompt attendance of gardai and paramedics, Mrs Horgan's condition could not be stabilised and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Her husband, who was bleeding profusely from multiple stab wounds to his head and arms, was rushed to Mercy University Hospital (MUH).
His injuries were described as primarily defensive in nature and not life threatening.
Mr Horgan underwent emergency surgery yesterday and is expected to make a full recovery.
However, it will be 24 to 48 hours before he will be able to speak to detectives about the sequence of events that led to the tragedy.
Paul Horgan was arrested under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984, and taken to Mayfield Garda Station for questioning.
He can be questioned for an initial period of 12 hours but this can be further extended.
Gardai stressed that the nature of their investigation will now be determined by the post mortem examination findings but officers are expected to launch a murder probe.
Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster conducted a preliminary examination of the scene from 11.30am.
The body of Mrs Horgan was then transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH) at 1pm for the post mortem examination.
Garda technical experts continued a detailed forensic analysis of the semi-detached house and the roadway outside.
"It is desperate - I just cannot believe it," explained Don O'Mahony, a school-friend of Billy Horgan.
"They are such lovely people and this is such a quiet, peaceful area. I still can't believe it."
Councillor Ted Tynan, who lives locally and would regularly meet Mr Horgan while out walking his dog, said the entire community was stunned.
"This is a very good community and everyone looks after everyone else up here. It is a very united neighbourhood," he added.
"Everyone here is astonished at what happened. Your heart goes out to that poor family."
Another neighbour, Tim Cooke, said the Horgans were known as a lovely couple who were devoted to each other.
"Whenever you'd pass them out walking or exercising their dog, they'd smile and say 'hello'. It is a shocking thing to happen just before Christmas."