Son charged with parents' axe killings
THE son of an elderly couple found dead at their home has appeared in court charged with their murder.
Julian Cuddihy (42), from Churchtown, Carndonagh, was accused of the murders of his father Jimmy Cuddihy (77) and his mother Kathleen Cuddihy (73) when he appeared at a special sitting of Ballyshannon District Court last night.
The retired maths teacher and his wife - a former nurse - were found dead at their home in Churchtown on Thursday morning.
Cuddihy sat at the back of the court, two gardai either side of him. He was dressed in a burgundy hoodie, tracksuit bottoms and trainers. He stared at the floor, wringing his hands during the brief hearing.
Det Gda Bernard Mullins gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution. He said when he charged Cuddihy at 5.15pm last night with the murder of his father, he replied: "I have no response."
At 5.51pm, said Det Gda Mullins, he charged Cuddihy with the murder of his mother. The detective said Cuddihy had replied: "I'm not signing that."
Defence solicitor Ray Lannon asked Judge Kevin Kilrane that his client be assessed by a psychiatrist at Castlerea Prison. There was no application for bail.
Judge Kilrane said that Julian Cuddihy had been assessed by a doctor on October 15 and that "no diagnosis of a psychiatric illness was made".
Mr Lannon said a new assessment was supported by gardai. This was confirmed by Inspector Denis Joyce.
The judge added: "Earlier in October there had been some contact with a doctor. There has been a history here and on October 15 he needed no further assessments."
The judge said he would direct the prison authorities to give a psychiatric assessment to Cuddihy.
He also granted legal aid to Mr Lannon, of Michael D White solicitors in Carndonagh.
The judge remanded Cuddihy in custody to appear against a special sitting of Letterkenny District Court next Wednesday, October 29.
Funeral arrangements for Mr and Mrs Cuddihy have yet to be announced.