herald

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Son quizzed over horror axe murder of his parents

GRUESOME: Mum and dad butchered with hatchet in home

Kathleen and Jimmy Cuddihy
Kathleen and Jimmy Cuddihy
The scene at the house in Donegal. Inset: Jimmy and Kathleen Cuddihy

A MECHANICAL engineer was being questioned by gardai last night after his parents were murdered in a double axe attack.

Jimmy and Kathleen Cuddihy suffered multiple wounds at their home in Donegal during the horrific slaying.

Julian Cuddihy (42) was arrested after his brother James found their parents' bodies at the bungalow in Carndonagh. A hatchet was recovered at the scene.

Julian had worked in recent years in both Dublin and England and had been studying more recently at the University of Limerick.

Friends who saw him earlier in the week said he appeared 'angry and agitated' which they found odd.

It's understood he had been suffering from depression.

His father was a much loved retired school teacher who had become a grinds mentor to hundreds of local children doing both Junior and Leaving Cert exams in recent years.

His wife Kathleen was a retired nurse and paramedic.

Builders, who arrived to work on renovations at the house shortly after the bodies were found, were left reeling.

"It was horrific," said one of them, "I cannot describe the scene because I just can't.

"The images are in my head and they won't go away."

Local priest Fr George McLaughlin spent some time at the house on the Buncrana Road in the town comforting son James, who found the bodies, and his sister Delila who had to be helped into the house by gardaí.

A fourth sibling, Margaret, was making her way home from England last night where she had been visiting friends.

"This is a very difficult time for the family," said Fr McLaughlin.

WEEPING

"They were very well known, the father as a teacher and mother as a nurse and therefore they would have met most people so it gets to everybody.

"The mood is the town and in the community is low. It shook everybody. All we can do is express our sincere condolences and ask people to pray for the family.

"They will need all the support and comfort we can give them."

Neighbours were rallying around the family last night.

"Kathleen was the most beautiful woman you could meet," said one weeping neighbour.

"She was your typical Irish mother who worked tirelessly for all of her children. They are all very well educated.

"Jimmy was from Kilkenny and worked here most of his life, teaching maths and technology at Carndonagh Community School. He loved life, he loved music and was a brilliant fiddle player."

Despite retirement he continued to contribute to the education of hundreds of young people over the past 10 years.

"I can't believe it," said one man in his 20s who left flowers at the entrance to the imposing bungalow which sits on a height and is surrounded by perfectly manicured gardens.

Julian Cuddihy was being questioned by detectives at Buncrana Garda Station. Detectives and garda forensic officers spent the day at the scene.

State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy will conduct post mortem examinations today.

hnews@herald.ie

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